A strong second half by Georgetown erased a large early lead for the Irish and sent the Hoyas to the NET finals, 84-82. Russell Carter missed a very good opportunity to win in the final seconds, but it was not to be.
Carter shot 7 for 21 in the game. After starting very well, his second half was forgettable. Poor shot selection lead to a lower clip from beyond the arc. Overall, 21 points, mostly from the 1st half.
Colin Falls disappeared as well in the 2nd half. The other senior captain finished with 14, on 4 of 10 shooting.
For as much as the seniors faltered down the stretch, two freshmen very nearly pulled out a win for ND. First, Luke Harangody followed up a great performance against Syracuse with 11 points inside. Bamm-Bamm worked relentlessly on both ends of the floor matching up with Hibbert (7'2") and Ewing.
Tory Jackson, however, single-handedly kept the game close. With the team down 7 and Georgetown about to run away with it, Jackson scored 7 straight and tied the contest. Overall, 20 points for a player not known for his scoring ability. The isolation worked to perfection several times as Tory took advantage of slower defenders.
Kurz was 5 of 5 from the line, but failed to stick out as Harangody clearly was the #1 option down low. Luke Zeller saw extended minutes, but reinforced the belief that he should stay on the bench. As a shooting big man, 1-4 from beyond the arc is not enough to make up for his lack of inside ability. One shot clearly sticks out as Luke had a very good opportunity from beyond the arc when down the stretch when any points ware needed, but missed and in turn gave Georgetown the ball back.
No one else on the bench provided much more than a breather for the starters.
Of course, it's disappointing to lost such a close game. Adding insult to injury is the fact that ND had an opportunity to turn the contest into a rout early. However, Player of the Year Jeff Green played very well with 30 points and Georgetown is a clearly a very good team. We really made them earn this one.
JTII and his son seemed to have an effect on officiating, which was rather anti-ND at times. The crowd also looked on television to be rather stacked with Hoya fans. ESPN showed the Notre Dame student section just once in the second half.
The Irish shouldn't fall much in either the rankings or in terms of seeding. Virginia and Tennessee losing will actually help a little. Mike Brey's boys will have tomorrow to shake off the loss and be back on campus for Selection Sunday.