NEW YORK (AP) — Patrick Ewing is taking Georgetown back to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2015 after the eighth-seeded Hoyas completed a surprising run to a Big East championship Saturday night with a stunning 73-48 rout of No. 17 Creighton.
On the 49th anniversary of the day Georgetown hired John Thompson, the late Hall of Fame coach who transformed the program into a national power and one of the most iconic brands in college basketball history, the Hoyas won their record eighth Big East Tournament title and first since 2007.READ MORE: FDA Expected To Approve J&J, Moderna Covid Booster Shots, ‘Mix and Match’ Doses
And they did it with a dominant performance at Madison Square Garden reminiscent of Ewing’s playing days with Georgetown.
The Hoyas (13-12) closed the first half on a 23-2 run that put them up 18 at the break against second-seeded Creighton (20-8). Then they picked right up early in the second half with a 16-3 spurt. Chudier Bile knocked down a 3-pointer — holding the follow through for a beat — with 14:58 left that made it 52-21.
Bile matched a season high with 19 points and Jahvon Blair had 18 and went 4 for 7 from 3-point range for Georgetown. After missing 12 of their first 14 shots, the Hoyas finished shooting 46.6% from the floor.
Marcus Zegarowski scored 17 points to lead Creighton, which is 0-3 in Big East title games since joining the conference for the 2013-14 season.
Georgetown fans, the few dozen that were in the mostly empty building because of COVID-19 restrictions, chanted “This Is Our House!” as the Hoyas prepared to accept the championship trophy. Ewing carried a T-shirt with Thompson’s image on it, his old coach’s fist raised high.
Ewing and Thompson combined for three Big East Tournament championships, three Final Four appearances and a national title in 1984 during their time together at Georgetown. Ewing went on to call Madison Square Garden home as a star center for the New York Knicks, and his retired No. 33 jersey hangs in the arena rafters.
Thompson died last August at age 78.READ MORE: 'Part Of Us Died With Her,' Ja'Nyi Weeden's Cousin Tells WJZ
The 58-year-old Ewing is in his fourth season as Hoyas coach, and up until this week there hasn’t been much to get excited about. The only postseason tournament appearance was a one-game stay in the 2019 NIT. The Hoyas were picked last in the Big East coming into this season and at the start of this tournament, Ewing was 58-58 as a head coach.
Now he is the first person in Big East history to be the most outstanding player on a Big East Tournament champion and coach a team to a Big East Tournament title.
Georgetown: Became the lowest-seeded team to win the Big East Tournament since Connecticut did it as a No. 9 seed in 2011. Those Huskies went on to win a national title. That seems unlikely for these Hoyas, who entered the Big East Tournament with a losing record. But Georgetown is now 10-4 since returning from a COVID-19 pause in mid-January, a run that coincided with Ewing inserting Bile into the starting lineup.
Creighton: The Bluejays scored a season-low 48 points and shot 29% from the field.
The Hoyas likely give the Big East four teams in the NCAA Tournament along with Creighton, Villanova and UConn.MORE NEWS: Baltimore County Police Investigating Series Of Attempted ATM Thefts
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