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Georgetown Hoyas fight for favorable map in NCAA tournament

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Cheers and Jeers,Sports,College,Craig Stouffer

It almost looked like Georgetown might not make the NCAA tournament after losing its first two Big East games last month.

But with a six-game winning streak and only Syracuse between them and first place in the conference, it's safe to start considering where the Hoyas might be placed when the brackets are announced next month. The higher the seed, the more advantageous the location should be, but the venue that suits them best isn't in play.

The Hoyas can't be in the East Region because the semifinals and finals for that corner of the bracket take place at Verizon Center. Should they reach the Sweet 16, it will be in Indianapolis, Los Angeles or Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas.

There are still ways that Georgetown could play closer to home during the tournament's first weekend. Philadelphia is the closest site for the second and third rounds. To end up there the Hoyas likely need to finish higher than some combination of Duke, Syracuse and Pittsburgh in the selection committee's overall seeding, known as the S-curve. In Joe Lunardi's latest projection for ESPN.com, the Blue Devils and Orange claim the East's top two seeds and the geographical preference to land at Wells Fargo Center. The math spits out Georgetown as No. 4 seed in San Jose.

It's proof that the variables get more complicated as the seeds get lower. Certainly, Dayton or Lexington would be preferable to the West Coast or Austin. Ultimately, the Hoyas' aim is not to be back on campus yet when games are taking place across town.

- Craig Stouffer

cstouffer@washingtonexaminer.com

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