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Saturday, March 19, 2005

Georgia Tech 80, George Washington 68

The Colonials came up a bit short. While Pops was more than a match for Georgia Tech's big men, the guards - Thompson in particular - couldn't hang with Jarrett Jack and company. The biggest problem was going 4-for-16 from the free throw line, which is nowhere near good enough for a NCAA tournament team. The defensive agressiveness for most of the game kept the Yellow Jackets on their heels and they stayed in it until they were buried for good by 12 unanswered Georgia Tech points following cutting the lead to a single point. The Colonials' perimeter shooting was off but this isn't normally a team that relies on the 3-pointer, the preferred weapon of many a Big Dance underdog.

There's always next year, since most of the important players have one more year left. The Atlantic 10 will be improved as they have their share of young, developing teams this season - I'm thinking especially of Fordham and Dayton - but the Colonials should be able to build on the experience of nearly taking a team that's not massively different from last year's national finalists to the brink.

Too bad they couldn't do what Bucknell and Vermont did, stunning the world and busting more than a few peoples' brackets by taking down, respectively, Kansas and Syracuse. Come to think of it, Connecticut, Florida, Wisconsin, and Louisville didn't exactly cruise into the next round either; it does seem that college basketball parity grows closer between the big guys and the better mid-major or even the best minor conference teams.


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