Big East Tournament: Preview of DePaul men’s basketball vs. Georgetown

DePaul takes on Georgetown at tonight at 8:30 CST in a first-round matchup of the Big East tournament. Georgetown was 2-0 against DePaul this season and is looking to solidify its rather unimpressive resume in time for the NCAA tournament. DePaul will be looking to fight another day and move on to face the next challenger.

What to watch for: Response. DePaul was blown out in their final regular season game to Butler, a fellow bottom-feeder. The players undoubtedly have the bad taste still in their mouths – their senior night was ruined. It will be interesting to see how Oliver Purnell’s squad performs after that horrendous showing, especially since it’s against a better team at a neutral site. The seniors on this team are staring the ends of their careers in the face and will want to give it their all to keep the ride going for another day.

X-factor: The bench. It seems rather cliche to say that the bench is the key to a victory, but it’s absolutely the case. Guys like Forrest Robinson and R.J. Currington must play to their potential if the Blue Demons want to come away with a win. It’s nice when Brandon Young scores 25 points in a game, but it’s generally for naught if the bench doesn’t show up. That’ s been DePaul’s problem for years-depth. This year, they don’t have a huge amount of depth, but the first guys off the bench do have the ability to make shots.

DePaul will win if…They play efficiently on offense. Georgetown isn’t much of a threat on offense, so DePaul’s defense will probably have a decent day by default. The Hoyas pride themselves on defense and John Thompson III’s crew is as good as any team in the nation on that end. DePaul will have to withstand the pressure and take good shots. They can’t afford to fall into a big hole early like they did against Butler.

Prediction: I hate to go against DePaul, but I just can’t see them pulling it out. It will be close-it should be close-but Georgetown will likely win by 5-10 points. 71-66, Hoyas.