If the NCAA selection committee were to meet today to decide which Big East teams would go to the tournament, the Georgetown men’s basketball team would not be inside, on, or right outside the bubble. You would have to go the distance between MCI Center and Georgetown’s campus before you could locate our team in the context of the bubble. Simply put, the Hoyas do not deserve an NIT bid, let alone a NCAA berth at this point in the season.

I began this column on Wednesday afternoon as if Georgetown had already beaten Seton Hall. Even though the game was not until later that night, I was writing about tomorrow’s matchup with Notre Dame. Honestly, I did not think that there was any way we would lose to the Pirates.

Yet, the second Seton Hall game represented the tease of a season that this has been. Coming off a close loss to Pittsburgh, Georgetown seemed primed for some vengeance against Seton Hall after its embarrassing 68-54 loss on Jan. 14. Yet, the team looked lethargic and uninterested early in the first half, allowing the Hall to build a double-digit lead. Inevitably, one expected Georgetown to make a run and throughout the second half, and it flirted with the lead. When Wesley Wilson hit a short bankshot to give Georgetown a four-point lead with less than two minutes left, things were looking good. The Hoyas were going to prove that they could beat a team without the team, Mike Sweetney, who had fouled out. And the disappointing Wilson sent a message that he should not be counted out.

What a tease.

In a span of 10 seconds, Seton Hall converted on a shot, stole a lazy inbounds pass and added insult to injury with a three-point play. A seemingly safe four-point lead was rudely ripped away. And then with 6.2 seconds left on the game clock and two seconds left on the shot clock, the Hoyas did not account for one player, apparently a sixth man on the court for the Pirates. While six men on the court are absolutely illegal, there was no fuss about it during the game. I did not see Coach Esherick waving his hands wildly at the refs or Georgetown players complaining. It is true that the referees screwed up, but I was not aware of this gaffe until I watched SportsCenter.

To make matters worse, Gerald Riley used the last six seconds to drive up the length of the floor wildly and remind the fans of Kevin Braswell. Fortunately for Georgetown, Riley delivered an unBraswell-like finish. Rather than chucking a three-pointer from half court or turning the ball over, Riley sliced through the lane and hit a beautiful runner to tie the game.

Could it be possible? Did we know how to finish close games? No.

As overtime of that game proved, poor decision-making and subpar defensive rebounding from the Hoyas gave Seton Hall too many chances that they had to win. The Hoyas’ execution of the halfcourt offense was hard to watch as the ball went everywhere except for the inside of the hoop. Though Riley and Tony Bethel have looked great on the offensive end this year, they were invisible during the extra session.

Like almost every one of their losses this year, the Hoyas’ Achilles’ heel in the Seton Hall game was their inability to finish games strongly. It was a problem that plagued them last year and it continues. While the Hoyas did show good poise against Seton Hall in the last minute of regulation, they could do nothing right in overtime.

Hard to admit, but at the midseason point the team’s highest quality win is the 84-82 overtime win over West Virginia. Even worse is the fact that every team in the Big East West division except for Rutgers and West Virginia has a better argument than Georgetown to make the NCAA’s. That means Pittsburgh, Notre Dame, Syracuse and Seton Hall all have more quality wins than Georgetown. And I haven’t even considered the deserving teams in the East division.

The one itty-bitty light at the end of the tunnel comes in the form of parity. There are no dominant teams in the nation and in the conference. Although Pittsburgh was the second-ranked team in the country, I still believed that Georgetown could prevail. If it were not for yet another questionable referee call, the game would have gone into overtime. Because of parity I can look into the near future, like next Tuesday, and see Georgetown 4-4 in the Big East with wins over Notre Dame and Syracuse.

In order for that to happen, Georgetown must break the jinx of failing to close games out strongly. In a conference with relatively little distance between the top and bottom teams, Georgetown’s bubble still has not popped.

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