Short Dance for Georgetown

Ohio 97, Georgetown 83

By DAN GELSTON
|  Thursday, Mar 18, 2010  |  Updated 11:55 PM EDT
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Georgetown's return to the dance was a short one.

After missing the NCAA tournament in 2009, the No. 3 seed Hoyas were upset 97-83 in the first round Thursday. No. 14 Ohio pretty much controlled the game.

The MAC champion Bobcats, who had a losing record in conference play, have found their way in March and now boast an NCAA tournament win for the first time in 27 years. Armon Bassett scored 32 points to lead the Bobcats.

In early March, no one expected Ohio (22-14) to be in this position. The team had just finished a 7-9 season in Mid-American Conference play and entered the conference tournament as the ninth seed.

Four wins later, Ohio was in the 65-team field.

Ohio seized the lead early on its 3-point shooting and never had a serious letdown the rest of the way. The Hoyas (23-11) made a small run in the second half that cut a 19-point lead down to seven.

No worries. D.J. Cooper, who scored 23 points, nailed a 3 to the delight of all those green-clad fans who made the trip and cheered them on the whole way. The Bobcats cruised from there and now have won six straight games.

Ohio joined Murray State, which knocked off Vanderbilt 66-65 at the buzzer, as the two big upset winners Thursday.

Chris Wright led the Hoyas (23-11) with 28 points. Georgetown coach John Thompson III said a day earlier his team was playing their best basketball of the season. It certainly didn't extend into the tournament opener.

The Hoyas looked sensational in winning the first three games of the Big East tournament, before losing to West Virginia in the championship, and appeared to have positioned themselves as a legitimate Final Four threat.

It wasn't to be.

The Hoyas had a rough time in Providence back in 1989, too, when they narrowly beat No. 16 seed Princeton 50-49. At least they won in '89.

This time the Hoyas were flustered and frustrated throughout. When Greg Monroe was on his back after being whistled for an offense foul, he pounded the court in disbelief and anger.

Monroe had 19 points and 13 rebounds, and Hollis Thompson scored 16 points.

Bassett, the MAC tournament MVP, made it look easy. After a 3-pointer made it 39-26, he just turned toward the crowd with a shrug and smiled.

Ohio led by 12 at halftime and kept on rolling against the Big East power. Cooper picked Georgetown's Jason Clark clean, sprinted toward the basket and tossed the ball backward high over his head where a streaking DeVaughn Washington slammed home the alley-oop in the play of the game.

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