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John Thompson Iii
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In a perfect world, defense wins championships. But when the second-seeded Hoyas began their NCAA tournament quest Friday night, defense failed them in a 78-68, upset loss to 15th-seeded Florida Gulf Coast.
Otto Porter knew from a season's worth of experience that Florida Gulf Coast would make stopping him a priority. But this time, in the bright spotlight of the NCAA tournament, Porter wasn't able to overcome that increased pressure.
This was just FGCU's sixth Division I season and second in which it was eligible to play in the postseason. What made Friday night's victory over second-seeded Georgetown even more special for the 15th-seeded Eagles was history, or the absence of it.
Georgetown players said they weren't taking No. 15 seed Florida Gulf Coast lightly. Armed with the memories of last year's upset loss to N.C. State early in the NCAA tournament and a 2010 loss to Ohio, the second-seeded Hoyas figured this time it would have to be different. It wasn't.
Before his Georgetown Hoyas left for their trip to China in the summer of 2011, coach John Thompson III began to see what he had in Otto Porter Jr.
The Hoyas seem to be in a better situation than a year ago. Friday they'll open the NCAA tournament at Wells Fargo Center as a No. 2 seed against No. 15 seed Florida Gulf Coast with memories of last year's upset fresh in their minds.
The coach who almost always measures his words carefully and avoids big-picture statements whenever possible has, in his own way, let it be known that he's expecting more than the usual when his Hoyas, seeded No. 2 in the East, begin the NCAAs with a round of 64 game against Florida Gulf Coast on Friday in Philadelphia.
Georgetown coach John Thompson III usually measures his words carefully and avoids big-picture statements whenever possible.
Georgetown lost out on big-time recruit Nerlens Noel. Its leading scorer, Jason Clark, graduated. Another gifted contributor, Hollis Thompson, departed a year early to pursue professional basketball. And somehow Georgetown improved.