PHILADELPHIA --- Georgetown came into this year's NCAA tournament with some lousy recent history in the event.
Gone at the hands of a No. 10 seed (Davidson) in 2008.
Gone in a first-round upset against a No. 14 seed (Ohio) in 2010.
Gone in another opener against a No. 11 seed (Virginia Commonwealth) in 2011.
And gone in the round of 32 against a No. 11 seed (N.C. State) last year.
Then came Friday's 78-68 loss to 15th-seeded Florida Gulf Coast, a jarring setback for a program increasingly accustomed to them in recent years.
How much? Well, Hoyas coach John Thompson III is only the third coach in NCAA tournament history to lose five games to a double-digit seed when his team was seeded at least five spots higher than his opponent.
(For those wondering why "five slots higher" was chosen, well, it's because the NCAA record book uses that as its cut-off for list such upsets. It doesn't, however, break down those losses by coach. Either way, this includes losing to an 11 seed or higher in the first round, as well as second-round ousters as 2-10, 3-11 or 4-12 --- among others).
Anyway, here's that rundown:
5: Jim Boeheim (88-91-05-06-11)
5: Bob Knight (86-88-96-00-02)
5: John Thompson III (08-10-11-12-13)
4: Bobby Cremins (86-88-89-93)
4: Jim Harrick (91-94-96-02)
4: Gene Keady (85-86-90-99)
4: Mike Krzyzewski (85-97-07-12)
4: Lute Olson (92-93-95-99)
4: Billy Tubbs (84-86-92-98)
3: Steve Alford (06-10-13)
3: Mike Brey (07-10-11)
3: Jim Calhoun (05-06-08)
3: Ralph Miller (80-84-89)
3: Bo Ryan (08-10-13)
3: Kelvin Sampson (91-95-06)
3: Bill Self (05-06-11)
3: Kevin Stallings (08-10-11)
3: Norm Stewart (87-88-90)
3: Eddie Sutton (86-91-94)
(NOTE: Original version included Florida's Billy Donovan with three such upsets; the NCAA record book listed Wisconsin-over-Florida as a 12/5 upset in 2009, when the Badgers actually defeated Florida State).
One common thread for all of those coaches, Thompson very much included, is they had their share of successful teams over the long haul of a regular season. Georgetown hasn't had a chance to lose such games without being really good for most of the year.
At the same time, no other coach has strung together more than two of these early ousters in a row. The Hoyas are at four years and counting.
“I wish I could,” Thompson said when asked if he could find a common thread in his program's tournament woes. “Trust me, more than anyone on this earth, I’ve tried to analyze it, think about it, look at it, see what we could do --- should do --- differently, and I don’t know.”
--- Patrick Stevens