Georgetown Gets Revenge On UNC 96-84
By Rich Keene, Basketball Editor
Sunday Night, March 25, 2007
EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ - In an exciting game but a heart-breaking loss for the Heels, UNC and Georgetown University took the East Regional NCAA game into overtime to decide who would go to the Final Four in Atlanta, with the Hoyas winning 95 - 84.
Basketball fans had been salivating at a rematch between UNC and Georgetown that was 25 years in the making. In 1982, the Heels won the NCAA title in the finals game against the Georgetown Hoyas.
Georgetown coach John Thompson III did what his father couldn't do in 1982 -- get past the Tarheels. His father was sitting in the crowd watching the victory that surely must have been sweet revenge for Hoya fans as the team goes to the Final Four for the first time since 1985.
In addition, with 1982 Georgetown center Patrick Ewing in the stands and his son playing on the court, there were definitely emotional connections to the 1982 game.
Despite a ten point lead in the second half of the game, Carolina just seemed to run out of gas when they lost offensive rebounds and couldn't land a shot for eight minutes.
With the loss, Carolina's excellent season that resulted in an outstanding 31-7 record and the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament championship came to an end.
However, UNC fans can't be upset at the Heels especially after they battled back from a 16 point deficit to defeat the USC Trojans on Friday night. The Heels exceeded expectations this year as some said early in the season that they would finish near the bottom of the ACC.
In fact, the opposite happened as UNC was the sole ACC team to go to the "Sweet Sixteen" in the NCAA's and the Heels finished up as one of the Final Eight teams in the national tournament.
UNC Loses Big Lead
Carolina had a commanding ten point lead of 75 to 65 with 7:15 minutes left in the second half when they just seemed to hit a brick wall.
Georgetown had missed eight shots in a row from the field, but then for the next eight minutes it was UNC's turn to miss eight in a row themselves.
The Tarheels seem to be content to try and hit tough shots from the outside, but none of them saw the inside of the net. In addition, Brandan Wright of UNC got into foul trouble early, getting four fouls with 6:02 minutes still left in the game.
In addition to unsuccessfully trying to land three pointers from way outside, UNC also seemed negligent in getting offensive rebounds which effectively denied them any second shots on the goal.
Score Evens Up
With 4:30 minutes left in the second half, Georgetown inside man Roy Hibbert made a powerful dunk to bring the score to 75 - 72 in favor of the Heels, adding to the momentum and confidence of the Hoyas. Before that shot, Hibbert had not scored in the second half of the game.
By the time 2:26 minutes were left in the game, Georgetown had clawed its way back to within one point of UNC.
During the last part of the second half, UNC had missed 17 out of 18 shots from the field, opening the door for Georgetown.
But at around one minute left in regulation, Carolina had pushed their lead back up to three points.
However, with 31 seconds left in regulation time, Georgetown's John Wallace took an amazing shot beyond the three point line to tie the score at 81-81.
Carolina got the ball back with 24 seconds in the second half and had a chance for one more shot to take the lead. Instead of trying to drive in and get a two point shot or draw a foul, UNC's Wayne Ellington took an outside shot that bounced off the rim into the hands of the Hoyas. Georgetown tried to score with two seconds left, but their final shot after the buzzer went short and the game went into overtime.
Unfortunately, UNC has an 0-6 record in overtime games this year and the results in this game were no different.
Georgetown jumped out of the gates early, attacking by sinking back to back goals and outscoring the Heels easily.
Although CBS announcer Billy Packer and Georgetown fans might disagree, it seemed as though there were several times in the second half and at least twice in overtime where clear fouls on Hansbrough and others inside the paint as they tried to score were not called or even worse, offensive fouls were called instead on UNC.
The Heels themselves though did not help matters as they continued to fall short on offensive rebounds on missed shots.
In the overtime period, the Hoyas outscored the Heels by a score of 15 to 3, resulting in the final score of 96-84.
For the Heels, Tyler Hansbrough was the top scorer with 26 points and 10 rebounds while for Georgetown, Jeff Green led with 22 points and 12 rebounds.
For more stats from the game and for more play by play details, visit the CBS Sportsline page here. The Hoyas now head to the Final Four for the first time since 1985 and they'll face Ohio State on Saturday March 31st in Atlanta. Also, UCLA will play defending champions Florida on the same day. For Final Eight bracket details, click here.
The games will be broadcast on CBS and locally you can catch the games on WRAL-TV, channel 5 in Raleigh. ::