Georgetown opened up its season with an easy win vs. a non lined opponent while NC Greensboro got blown out at Tennessee, but the Spartans are a veteran team that can cover this big point spread.
In a game that can be much closer than the inflated point spread might suggest, the NC Greensboro Spartans (0-1 overall, 0-1 away) pay a visit to the Georgetown Hoyas (1-0 overall, 1-0 home) Monday night in the first meeting ever between these two schools from the Verizon Center in Washington, DC at 7:00 ET.
The Hoyas finished only eighth in the Big East last season despite going 21-11 straight up overall, and they lost in their first game of the Big East Tournament to the eventual national champion Connecticut and then again in the first game of the NCAA Tournament to eventual Cinderella Final Four participant VCU. Georgetown is expected to slip back further this season considering the talent they have lost.
The Spartans come out of the Southern Conference, the same conference that sent a Wofford team that nearly upset BYU in the opening round to the NCAA Tournament last season. Greensboro finished at just 8-23 straight up, but this was still a competitive team that finished at 15-13-3 against the NCAA Basketball odds, and the Spartans should be much improved this year with four starters returning.
The Hoyas are not as good as they looked while dismantling a totally outclassed Savannah State team 83-54 in their opener, while the Spartans actually played better in a 92-63 road loss at Tennessee Friday that that score would indicate.
The point spread at The Greek Sports Book for this contest is has NC Greensboro as a huge +20 underdog at current odds of -110.
The Hoyas toyed with a non-Division I team on Saturday, and while the Spartans come out of a minor conference, at least they play at the Division I level and are thus an upgrade in competition for Georgetown from Savannah State. Thus, this is where the Hoyas could start to feel the sting of losing three of their top five scorers from last season, including their go-to guy Austin Freeman and point guard Chris Wright.
Fellow guard Jason Clark does return, but the top returning scorer from the frontcourt is Hollis Thompson, who averaged just 8.6 points per game last season. Now Georgetown did get a surprising 19 points from center Henry Sims in the win over Savannah while Thompson poured in 13 points, but it is difficult to gauge those performances in light of the quality (or lack thereof) of the competition.
Now the Spartans were a young team while struggling inside the conference last year, but there were actually some positive signs from this now veteran team in the blowout loss at Tennessee, as they out-rebounded the Volunteers badly on the offensive glass 16-6 and they committed only 10 turnovers, an area where their experience from last year helps them after having one of the highest turnover percentages in the nation in 2010-11.
That loss to Tennessee would have been much closer if not for the fact that the Vols hit on an unbelievable 15 of their 24 three-point attempts (62.5 percent), a key reason why Tennessee shot 64.6 percent for the game! The Hoyas were not a great shooting team last year and they are much younger this season, so do not look for them to match that unrealistically hot performance vs. UNCG tonight.
With that in mind, look for a closer game this evening with the Spartans staying inside this enormous spread.
NCAA Basketball Pick: NC Greensboro +20 (-110)