(8-0, 6-1 ATS)
(5-2, 5-2 ATS)
The Temple Owls and Georgetown Hoyas have historically always put on a great show, and last year was no exception. Temple lost out late on 46-45 in a game played in our nation’s capitol in November. Now, with the scene shifting to the City of Brotherly Love with a nationally televised audience watching, the Owls will look to fly past the Hoyas for their biggest win of the season.
Georgetown just has a fantastic team that is incredibly deep though, and it is going to take one heck of an effort to knock it off. The Hoyas are shooting a whopping 51.0 percent from the floor and 43.8 percent from downtown as a team, ranking them No. 8 and No. 4 in the country respectively, and things are just going incredibly well. They have played well at home, and on the road, and on neutral courts, some of which have felt like road games. Austin Freeman is proving that he is the real deal, as no one has been able to stop him this season. The senior leader of this team only put nine points up against the Utah State Aggies over the weekend, but he had scored 63 points combined in his previous two games and is one of the few men in the nation that is scoring more than 20 points per game. The question is going to be how the Owls try to matchup with Georgetown when it decides to go big. Julian Vaughn, Hollis Thompson, and Henry Sims could all be on the court at the same time, and all three have the ability to dominate in the low block. Keep a close eye especially on Vaughn and Thompson, who are combining to average over 13 boards and 17 points per night.
We just don’t know if the Owls have the horses to match up in this one, but we do know that this is a stingy team that really wants to be back in the NCAA Tournament once again this year. This is only the third home game of the season, and the first two went incredibly well, including beating another member of the Big East, the Seton Hall Pirates 62-56. Temple has gone on the road and taken big wins against the Central Michigan Chippewas and Maryland Terrapins already this month, and it knows that the coast is clear until right before New Year’s if it can take down this one. Teams are only scoring 55.4 points per game against the Owls this year, good enough for No. 8 in the country, and this should be an incredibly matchup against a team that is one of the most efficient offensively in the land as well. This is just a two guard lineup, but there aren’t really any tremendous bigs that can match up with Vaughn and Thompson in the paint. Ramone Moore and Juan Fernandez are really going to have to step up and knock down shots at more efficient rates than they have this year for the Owls to pull off the upset. Neither is shooting better than 35 percent from the field, yet they are two of the team’s three double digit point scorers on a nightly basis.
Georgetown has beaten bigger teams and better teams in more difficult locations. We know that Temple is solid, but it just hasn’t all clicked in place yet, and there are still some major lapses that need to be figured out. The grit and muscle of the Hoyas should be enough to lead them to victory in this one unless Moore or Fernandez really comes out shooting lights out.
NCAA Basketball Free Pick: Georgetown Hoyas -1.5