- The Washington Times - Tuesday, February 25, 2003

For now, the Georgetown Hoyas are in the Big East tournament. Of course, that could change over the next four games.
The struggling Hoyas (12-11, 4-8 Big East) are one game ahead of Rutgers and tied with West Virginia for fifth place in the Big East's West Division. The top six finishers qualify for the tournament.
Tonight the Hoyas try to remain in contention when they take on Providence (13-11, 6-7) at MCI Center.
If the Big East tournament started today, the Hoyas would be the fifth seed in the West Division because they hold the tiebreaker over West Virginia, meaning they would play the Friars on March12 at 7p.m. in the tournament's first round.
If the Hoyas finish the regular season as the sixth seed they most likely would play Boston College, a much more difficult opponent, in the first round.
Hoyas coach Craig Esherick refused to make himself or his players available for comment yesterday.
A win by Georgetown and a Rutgers loss to Seton Hall tonight almost would guarantee the Hoyas a spot in the Big East tournament with three games to play. That would give them a comfortable two-game cushion over the Scarlet Knights.
A loss to the Friars and a Rutgers win would put the Hoyas right back in the division basement with the Scarlet Knights. If the Hoyas and Scarlet Knights finish with identical conference records, Rutgers would go to the Big East tournament as the sixth seed because it holds the tiebreaker over Georgetown.
No team that has played in the Big East tournament's first round has won the championship. That would be Georgetown's only way to get into the NCAA tournament and salvage what has been a disappointing season. The top two teams in each division receive a bye to the quarterfinals.
After tonight, the Hoyas still have three tough games. Georgetown plays host to No.15 Syracuse on Saturday at MCI Center, travels to West Virginia on Monday for a game that was rescheduled because of last week's snow storm and finishes the season at home against No.9 Notre Dame.
Winning its four remaining games is a tall order for Georgetown; the Hoyas haven't beaten a Big East opponent this season with a winning conference record. That's why tonight's game is so important.
The Friars have a three-game winning streak. Providence coach Tim Welsh has deployed a new starting lineup in the past two games, victories over Miami (79-59) and Villanova (70-60).
Welsh has started freshman guard Donnie McGrath, junior guard Sheiku Kabba, junior forward Marcus Douthit, sophomore forward Ryan Gomes and sophomore forward Rob Sanders. The 6-foot-7 Gomes is Providence's leading scorer (18.3 ppg) and rebounder (9.7 rpg), but the key to the Friars' success is Kabba.
The Friars have gone 9-1 this season when Kabba scores 10 or more points. Against Villanova, the 6-2 Kabba scored a career-high 25 points.


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