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Breaking down Georgetown’s 2016-17 non-conference schedule

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On Thursday, Georgetown released its 2016-’17 non-conference schedule.

The quick takeaway is that the schedule is more of the same.

Georgetown headed into last season with optimism; the schedule it assembled for itself reflected that confidence. The Hoyas took on Maryland, Wisconsin, Duke, Syracuse and Connecticut in the non-conference portion of their schedule but stumbled to just a 7-6 record.

It should also be noted that the Hoyas lost to Radford, UNC Asheville and Monmouth—all teams they were expected to beat. When they produced a subpar Big East showing, they suffered their first losing season under John Thompson III.

GU’s coach will once again challenge his team, hoping it can create a rebound season. Credit Thompson III for not backing down in spite of last season’s struggles.

Without further ado, let’s break down Georgetown’s 2016-’17 non-conference slate.

Note: RPIs courtesy of KenPom.com

Cupcakes

South Carolina-Upstate, 11/12/16 (home)- Drawing from the failures of their season-opening loss to Radford last year, expect the Hoyas to not make the same mistake again.

Arkansas State, 11/17/16 (home)- Playing a rare home game at McDonough Arena should allow Georgetown to easily make mince meat of an Arkansas State team that went 11-20 last year with a 250 RPI.

Howard, 11/27/16 (home)- Another rout should be in store for the Hoyas here; Howard finished an unsightly 332 in the RPI.

Coppin State, 11/30/16 (home)- Coppin State is another sub-300 RPI (329) team for the Hoyas to dismantle. Moving on.

Elon, 12/4/16 (home)- As part of the BB&T Classic, Georgetown will play Elon (and no, not Mr. Musk), a team that went 16-16 and finished with a respectable 157 RPI. While Elon is a step up from the other cupcakes, it a game the Hoyas should easily win.

UNC Greensboro, 12/22/16 (home)- Greensboro shouldn’t be lumped in with the rest of the cream puffs, either; it finished with a 207 RPI.  Nonetheless, Georgetown should have no trouble here.

Non-cupcake games, but games Georgetown should win

La Salle, 12/10/16 (neutral)- As part of the Hoophall Miami Invitational, Georgetown will square off against a La Salle team that went 9-22 last year. It’s hard to call an Atlantic 10 team a true cupcake, but if the Hoyas can’t win this game, trouble could lie ahead.

Marquee games

Maryland, 11/15/16 (home)- This is a rematch from last year’s classic Gavitt Games showdown. Expect a packed Verizon Center for a game that will once again have D.C.-Baltimore bragging rights on the line. This should be a game that jolts the Hoyas’ fan base.

Oregon, 11/21/16 (neutral)- Georgetown drew a really tough game in its first-round matchup of the Maui Invitational. The Hoyas will face an Oregon team that will likely head in as a preseason top-10 team. The Ducks are coming off an Elite Eight appearance and have aspirations of a title run with Dillon Brooks and Tyler Dorsey coming back.

Syracuse, 12/17/16 (away)- Here is yet another rivalry-and-rematch game for the Hoyas. Last season, Georgetown got the best of Syracuse with the game being played at the Verizon Center. This time the game will be played at the Carrier Dome. Don’t think for a second that Jim Boeheim (who was suspended when the teams met last year) and the Orange will forget about last year’s result.

Connecticut, 1/14/17 (home)– Here is another throwback Big East game for the masses. UConn narrowly beat Georgetown last season, and with the return game being played in D.C. this time, the Hoyas will try to serve up some revenge.

To be determined

Tennessee or Wisconsin 11/22/16 (neutral)- Depending whether they win or lose against Oregon, the Hoyas will play either Tennessee or Wisconsin the next day in Maui. Considering most people expect Oregon and Wisconsin to win their first-round games, Georgetown will likely play Tennessee, which would not be all that bad.

Tennessee, coached by Rick Barnes, will likely have better results this season than it had in Barnes’ first year on the job. If the Hoyas play Wisconsin, it will be a rematch of a contest the two played in Madison Square Garden last year.

On the opposite side of the Maui bracket are North Carolina, Oklahoma State, Connecticut and Chaminade. If the Hoyas avoid Chaminade, they will play three veritable three RPI-boosting squads in Hawaii.

Breaking down Georgetown’s 2016-17 non-conference schedule

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