NCAA Tournament: Virginia Commonwealth Blows Out Georgetown, 74-56

VCU sent Georgetown to its second straight first-round NCAA Tournament blowout loss.

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NCAA Bracket Update: Virginia Commonwealth Sends Georgetown To Second Straight First-Round Loss

The Georgetown Hoyas have fallen in embarrassing fashion in the first round of the NCAA Tournament for the second consecutive season. Last year, Georgetown, as a No. 3 seed, was blown out by No. 14 seed Ohio. This season, it was No. 11 seed Virginia Commonwealth who did the deed, routing the Hoyas SCORE.

Virginia Commonwealth pushed an 11-point lead to as large as 25 in the second half, hitting 12 three-pointers and looking like the superior team. Brandon Rozzell had 26 points, including 6-10 from three-point range, and four other players scored in double figures. VCU hit just 41 percent from the field, but couldn't miss from three-point range.

Georgetown, meanwhile, shot 39 percent from the field. Austin Freeman, Chris Wright and Jason Clark combined to shoot 0-17 from three-point range in the loss. Hollis Thompson had 24 points, but it was far too little.

Here's the complete Southwest region of the NCAA Bracket.

No. 1 Kansas def. No. 16 Boston University Terriers, 72-53
No. 9 Illinois Fighting Illini def. No. 8 UNLV Runnin' Rebels, 73-62 
No. 12 Richmond Spiders def. No. 5 Vanderbilt, 69-66
No. 13 Morehead St. Eagles def No. 4 Louisville Cardinals, 62-61
No. 6 Georgetown Hoyas vs. No. 12 VCU Rams
No. 3 Purdue Boilermakers def. No. 14 Saint Peter's, 65-43
No. 10 Florida St. Seminoles def. No. 7 Texas A&M Aggies, 57-50
No. 2 Notre Dame Fighting Irish def. No. 15 Akron Zips, 69-56

March Madness resources: Printable 2011 NCAA Tournament bracket ... Full 2011NCAA Tournament schedule.

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NCAA Tournament Update: VCU Leads Rusty Georgetown At Halftime, 35-24

The Georgetown Hoyas are well-rested coming into their first NCAA Tournament game, but it has looked lust rust thus far. The No. 6 seeded Hoyas trail the No. 11 seed Virginia Commonwealth Rams 35-24 at halftime.

Georgetown has had decent looks, but just haven't been able to knock them down. Chris Wright is healthy, but very much out of rhythm, shooting just 3-9 from the field. Throw in a 1-6 performance from Austin Freeman, and you can see where the score makes sense. Without Hollis Thompson (3-3, 10 points), the Hoyas would be completely out of the game.

VCU, on the other hand, is hitting shots from downtown. The Rams are 6-12 from three-point range. The Hoyas are just 1-12. That, right there, is the difference. 

You can also follow the game with Hoyas fans at our Georgetown blog, Casual Hoya.

March Madness resources: Printable 2011 NCAA Tournament bracket ... Full 2011 NCAA Tournament schedule.

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Chris Wright Will Start For Georgetown Vs. VCU In 2011 NCAA Tournament

We knew the Georgetown Hoyas would have the services of Chris Wright as he recovered from a broken hand suffered three weeks ago against Cincinnati. Now, we know that he will have no restrictions. Wright is listed in the starting lineup for the team's first-round NCAA Tournament game against Virginia Commonwealth, according to Sports Illustrated's Stewart Mandel.

Wright will have a challenge against Virginia Commonwealth's pressure defense, which would have bothered him even if he was fully healthy. The Hoyas desperately need Wright to be himself, because they are 0-4 with a point differential of -14.5 with Wright out of the lineup. Prior to Wright's injury, the Hoyas were one of the best teams in the Big East and were striving for a high seed.

Can the Hoyas recapture that level of play with Wright healthy? Friday night will be three weeks to the day that Wright had the surgery to fix his broken hand. Is three weeks enough time to recover? We'll soon find out.

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NCAA Bracket Preview, Predictions: Georgetown Vs. Virginia Commonwealth

If you penciled USC as an 11-seed into your 2011 NCAA Tournament bracket, I hope you saved the eraser.  Virginia Commonwealth used smothering pressure and sharp shooting from beyond the arc to vanquish the slow-footed and turnover prone Trojans.  The reward for the Rams is Big East heavyweight Georgetown Hoyas at 9:50 p.m. ET Friday, televised on TNT. Check your NCAA Tournament schedule here for all of the games.

Star Watch: The return of Georgetown's star guard Chris Wright can't come at a better time if you ask John Thompson, III.  Virginia Commonwealth loves to pressure the basketball and force turnovers, and Wright's return means the Hoyas can now deploy three solid ballhandlers against that pressure when you add Jason Clark and Austin Freeman to the mix.  Wright's return is also great news for Hoya shooting guard Austin Freeman.  With Wright taking over the ball handling duties, Freeman can do what he does best--run through screens and find catch and shoot opportunities.  In fact, the entire Hoya squad should look forward to the five dimes per game Wright was dishing out before his injury.

VCU will continue to look to the little floor general Joey Rodriguez for creativity, leadership, and the occasional big shot.  The Rams hope shooting guard Brandon Rozzell can stay sizzling from beyond the arc while forward Jaime Skeen does the dirty work on the inside.  The key for the Rams is forcing turnovers for easy buckets, however, because they're not a real efficient team in the half court.

Prediction:  After an extended layoff, It's tough to come into the pressure cooker of an NCAA tournament game rust free and run the show without making mistakes.  It's doubtful that Hoya point guard Chris Wright is the exception to that rule especially against VCU's extended pressure.  This isn't the ideal situation or team for a guard to come in and get his feet wet.  I like VCU to force double digit Hoya turnovers for easy buckets on their way to another upset win.  Call it 65 to 63 Virginia Commonwealth. 

Get your updated printable 2011 NCAA Tournament bracket.

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