Greg Monroe and Georgetown suffered the day's biggest upset.
Anyone looking for a silver lining in the Big East's day should probably stop looking. There isn't any.
No. 3 Georgetown was embarrassed by 14-seed Ohio. Two 6 seeds, Notre Dame and Marquette, were sent home. The one team that did win – Villanova – needed a late rally and a few beneficial calls by the refs.
That's a 1-3 day for the conference that sent an NCAA-high eight teams to the tournament. There's no sugarcoating it. It's a rough day.
"We really thought we could make some noise in this tournament," Georgetown guard Austin Freeman said. "We really didn't imagine we would be one-and-done."
He wasn't alone.
The Hoyas were selected by more than 40 percent of ESPN's bracket submissions to reach the Sweet 16. Nearly 98 percent had them winning this game. Yet Georgetown, 16.5-point favorites entering, lost 97-83 to a team that was the ninth seed in the MAC tournament. That's not a surprise. That's a shock.
The Bobcats (22-14) never struggled, either. They got 32 points from ex-Indiana player Armon Bassett and led by as many as 19 points.
Georgetown became the first 3-seed to lose since 2006, and just the 16th since the tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985.
Just as surprising was 2-seed Villanova's 73-70 overtime win against Robert Morris. The outcome didn't hurt the Big East in the loss column, but the public perception may be just as damning.
The Wildcats trailed 55-47 with just under four minutes remaining, but took the lead after a series of Robert Morris turnovers and converted free-throw attempts ('Nova hit 7 of 8 in a 150-second stretch). The calls against the Colonials prompted catcalls on the Web, and left senior Scottie Reynolds – the guy who made most of those free throws -- happy to be playing another day.
"You have to be excellent all the time, put it like that," Reynolds said. "You can't have any flaws, even if it's so minor, even an inch, because that's the margin of victory."
'Nova also started slow last season (it trailed by 10 at halftime to 14-seed American) before reaching the Final Four. But fulfill those lofty expectations again this season, it'll need to be better from here on. It was a 13.5-point favorite to win.
In terms of first-round losses, it was the Big East's worst showing since 2006 when Syracuse, Marquette and Seton Hall were all bounced. But the Orange were the only surprise that year, while this was a blow to the entire league's reputation.
Some of it can be salvaged on Friday. No. 1 seed Syracuse, 2-seed West Virginia and 3-seed Pitt are all double-digit favorites. Louisville,
an 8a 9 seed, plays Cal in a game that could go either way.
It leaves the Big East in position to end the first round with at least four teams into the weekend, and possibly five.
But if it's three or less … well, then things will really get tense around the Big East.
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