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Yahoo users' favorite first-round upset pick failed spectacularly

Jeff Eisenberg
·2-min read

The most popular first-round upset pick among Yahoo Tourney Pick'Em users didn't come close to rewarding that optimism.

Georgetown's stagnant offense and inept 3-point defense had TV viewers taking a red pen to their brackets by halftime.

A Georgetown team that reeled off four wins in four days to claim the Big East tournament title seven days ago turned back into middling eighth-place afterthought a week later. The 12th-seeded Hoyas were never remotely competitive in a 96-73 loss to fifth-seeded Colorado on Saturday in a first-round NCAA tournament game.

The margin was 10 less than eight minutes into the game. It grew to 24 at halftime. By the time Colorado's star point guard McKinley Wright danced on the baseline after a transition layup less than four minutes into the second half, Georgetown faced a 57-27 deficit.

Georgetown's biggest problem was its utter failure to close out on Colorado's 3-point shooters. Time after time, Wright would attack off the dribble, draw multiple defenders and kick to an open shooter. Time after time, the Hoyas were left scrambling and were slow to recover.

Colorado made 11 of 17 first-half 3-pointers, many of which were scarcely contested. Freshman Jabari Walker had a career-high four 3-pointers after just 12 minutes and finished with 24 points. Wright controlled the game from the outset and finished with 12 points, 13 assists and zero turnovers.

It would have been difficult for Georgetown to stay within striking distance no matter what, but Colorado's smothering defense gave the Hoyas no easy looks. There was never a sliver of space in the paint for Georgetown. The Hoyas got nothing but contested shots through a thicket of arms.

Nearly 47 percent of Yahoo Tourney Pick'Em entrants had Georgetown advancing, making the Hoyas one of several trendy upset picks to go up in flames the past two days. Winthrop proved no match for shorthanded Villanova on Friday night, while Colgate couldn't hold a double-digit first-half lead against an Arkansas team with superior talent.

While Colorado advances to face fourth-seeded Florida State on Monday, Georgetown returns home to questions about the health of its program. The Hoyas were 58-58 in four seasons under Patrick Ewing prior to ripping off four straight wins out of nowhere last weekend.

Coming into Saturday's game, there was optimism that run was a sign of progress. Now it's fair to wonder if it was merely a four-day mirage.

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - MARCH 20: Evan Battey #21 of the Colorado Buffaloes reacts to a play against the Georgetown Hoyas in the first round game of the 2021 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Hinkle Fieldhouse on March 20, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - MARCH 20: Evan Battey #21 of the Colorado Buffaloes reacts to a play against the Georgetown Hoyas in the first round game of the 2021 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament at Hinkle Fieldhouse on March 20, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

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