Eastern Washington Coach Jim Hayford has officially put Georgetown on upset alert.
The coach of the 13th-seeded Eagles made his bold declaration that the fourth-seeded Hoyas would go down in the second round of the NCAA tournament Thursday afternoon at the end of a radio interview Wednesday with CBS's Jim Rome.
"We're gonna win and talk again, Jim," Hayford said to Rome.
History says the Eagles might not be so lucky. The fourth seed has a record of 95-25 against 13th-seeded opponents in the NCAA tournament.
But, it could happen.
Last year, 14th-seeded Mercer pulled off the extraordinary and toppled third-seeded Duke in the second round of the tournament. In the same round, three 12 seeds beat out fives to advance.
"We're not just happy to be here," Hayford said. "We want to go do something special. My team in November won at Indiana and snapped the nation's longest nonconference home winning streak at Assembly Hall. We're capable.
Eastern Washington (26-8, 14-4 Big Sky Conference) won its conference championship and second trip to the NCAA tournament. The Eagles' only other appearance came in 2004.
Georgetown (21-10, 12-6 Big East) is a 7.5-point favorite even though the Hoyas average 10 fewer points per game. Georgetown's record in the NCAA tournament is 1-4 since 2009.
The energy from Hayford's bold declaration, uncommon in today's world of coach-speak, wasn't met with the same enthusiam from the Hoyas.
"We all know what's at stake," Georgetown guard Jabril Trawick said. "We're all Division I basketball players. We're all playing for something. We don't feed into it that much. We're just happy that we're here. We're just ready to play."
They'll do just that today at 4 p.m., Pacific time.
Follow Matt Wilhalme on Twitter @mattwilhalme