Here we are. Championship night for Battle of the Losers 2011. Georgetown is looking for a 2nd consecutive BOTL title, while Clemson are in the championship game for the first time after being in this competition the previous three seasons. But first, Utah State play Tennessee for the consolation game.
3rd Place Game
#1 Tennessee vs. #4 Utah State
The always competitive 3rd place game was no different this time around. Neither the Vols nor the Aggies led by more than 6 in the opening stanza and Utah State held a 35-32 lead at halftime. Things would change in the 2nd half, though. Utah State went on a 14-5 run after the intermission and a Morgan Grim three-point play gave the Aggies a 53-43 advantage with 11:38 to play. With 5:23 left, Melvin Goins’ shot from 13 feet cut the lead to 60-56. A crippling 10-1 run ensued and the Volunteers hopes for a comeback were dashed for good. Richmond took 3rd last year, now another “Non-BCS” conference has claimed bronze in BOTL. Utah State 72 Tennessee 64
#3 Georgetown vs. #4 Clemson
The Hoyas could not miss. Right out of the gate they knocked down 3 of 4 shots and were 7-0 up on Clemson. The Tigers would finally get on the board 2:14 in on a Lorenzo Booker jumper, but Austin Freeman would provide a quick reply. Andre Young got Clemson’s next 2 points with a jumper from the free throw line to make it 9-4. From this point on the 1st half was not even remotely competitive. Hollis Thompson would score 8 straight as part of a 14-0 run by the Hoyas. Georgetown 23 Clemson 4 with 13:18 remaining in the half. Think of it this way, Georgetown made 10 of their first 12 shots in the game! UConn/Butler this is not. The savage mauling continued until the halftime buzzer. Georgetown 41 Clemson 24 HALF
Georgetown missed and they missed often. But would they hang on? John Thompson III watched his team’s 17 point deficit cut to 8 with 13:07 remaining as the Hoyas went that entire span without a field goal. All of a sudden it was 42-34. Nate Lubick ended a 7 min FG drought and Georgetown could breathe a sigh of relief. The danger wasn’t over though….
“Stitt shoots from three! He buries it! Clemson cuts the deficit to 7! 54-47 with 4:22 to go!”
It wasn’t to be, though. Clemson would make only 1 FG the remainder of the way…
“The three from Jennings doesn’t fall and Hollis Thompson grabs the rebound! Georgetown built a 23-4 lead, a 17 point cushion at halftime, it was cut to 7, but the Hoyas hang on and are once again BOTL champions! The first team to ever repeat!” – Georgetown 61 Clemson 50
Road to the Championship
def. Saint Peter’s 71-43
def. Vanderbilt 75-71
def. Louisville 79-68
def. Utah State 72-63
def. Clemson 61-50
Dominant from start to finish. Congratulations Georgetown for winning BOTL 2011 and making it the 3rd time the Big East has won it.
College basketball season is over and so is this tournament. Thanks for following and thanks to Justin F. for helping me simulate two regions plus Tennessee vs. Clemson.
(Fades to One Shining Moment)