- The Washington Times - Saturday, March 15, 2003

When the National Invitation Tournament announces its pairings late tomorrow night, the Georgetown Hoyas will find out how far they have to travel to compete in the postseason.
Despite snubbing the NIT last year, the Hoyas are poised to accept an invitation. And Jack Powers, the tournament's executive director, is willing to forgive them.
"We'll call them on Sunday night," Powers said. "They've been playing pretty well and played their hearts out in the Garden [on Thursday] night."
Powers also said Georgetown will not be a host for any games of the 68-year tournament.
"Not in [small] McDonough Gym," Powers said. "And their other place, MCI Center, is unavailable."
Travel was the reason Georgetown turned down a bid last year. This time the Hoyas (15-14) are eagerly awaiting Powers' phone call.
Coach Craig Esherick did not return a call on the Hoyas' change of heart. After Georgetown's 69-67 victory March 3 at West Virginia, which guaranteed a winning record and a berth in the Big East tournament, Esherick said Georgetown would accept an NIT invitation.
Powers said the NIT tries to match up teams in the same geographical area in early rounds. Last season's plan was for the Hoyas to play at Richmond in the first round but at Arizona State in the second round.
There's no guarantee Georgetown wouldn't face a similar travel plan. In 2000, the Hoyas beat Virginia 115-111 in a three-overtime thriller in Charlottesville in the first round, then lost at California 60-49.
In 1998, the Hoyas opened the NIT at Florida with a 71-69 win and then lost to Georgia Tech 80-79 in Atlanta. This will be the ninth time Georgetown has played in the NIT.
The Hoyas won't know their NIT itinerary until after the NCAA has filled its 65-team tournament field.
Georgetown may be one of five Big East schools in the NIT. Seton Hall (17-12), Providence (16-13), St. John's (16-13) and Villanova (15-15) also are eligible.

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