Georgetown is off to an undefeated 8-0 start in Patrick Ewing’s debut season, but it’s just about as unimpressive of an 8-0 start as you could possibly imagine. While most of the large conference programs have spent portions of the opening month of the season beating up on each other and participating in big tournament events, the Hoyas have been loading up on cupcakes.
Back in August, Georgetown pulled out of the PK80 event, the one-time 16-team, two-bracket tournament in Portland celebrating Phil Knight’s 80th birthday. Georgetown was replaced by DePaul, who lost to Michigan State and Oregon before beating Portland.
As it turns out, Georgetown would have been no worse off if they had gone and even lost in Portland than by playing the schedule that they put together. Georgetown plays former Big East rival Syracuse at home this upcoming Saturday in what is easily the highlight of the non-conference schedule.
Of the eleven non-conference opponents, seven of them are among the bottom 30 teams in all of Division I according to Ken Pomeroy’s ratings. That’s hard to do. As a result, you have a weird situation where 8-0 Georgetown is all the way down at #196 and is rated very similarly to 0-9 Texas Southern in the RPI.
I could again point out the absurdity of the RPI in cases like this, but the simple fact is Georgetown has played no one. Texas Southern, meanwhile, has beaten no one but has played seven major programs (and lost at Oakland and Toledo).
Georgetown’s best win is at 2-8 Richmond. They’ve beaten two teams that don’t have a single win against Division I teams (and haven’t played Texas Southern’s schedule). They haven’t played a single team from a major conference yet and haven’t played a team with a winning record against Division I teams. They are the 7th-lowest rated team from one of the top six conferences (out of 75 teams) and the six teams below them have an average non-conference record of 5-5.
I’m not sure what the point of playing Georgetown’s schedule is, or what it proves. I don’t think that Georgetown is a tournament contender, but this schedule also gives them virtually no chance of making the NCAA Tournament if things were to break just right and they pulled a few upsets. Using the RPI Forecast, Georgetown would be just on the outside of the bubble by going 21-8, which would mean beating Syracuse and going 10-8 in conference. If your schedule is so bad that it means you miss the tournament even if you have a winning record in the Big East, that’s not good.