The Bobcats’ time to shine is March.

The MAC tournament champion Bobcats, who had a losing record in conference play, found the way in the only month that matters and now boast an NCAA tourney win for the first time in 27 years.

Armon Bassett had 32 points Thursday to lead the 14th-seeded Bobcats to a convincing 97-83 win over third-seeded Georgetown in the Midwest Regional.

“We may not be a better team, just got to be a better team on a given night,” Bassett said.

In early March, no one expected Ohio (22-14) to be in this position. They had just finished a 7-9 season in Mid-American Conference play and entered the conference tournament as the ninth seed.

Four wins later, Ohio was in the 65-team field.

Forty minutes later, the Bobcats are in the second round.

Coach John Groce wouldn’t call it the biggest win in team history.

“I certainly think it’s one of them,” he said. “What it does more than anything is, I think it gives tremendous belief with our guys in what we’re doing, in our system.”

Ohio seized the lead early on its 3-point shooting and never had a serious letdown. The Hoyas (23-11) made a small run in the second half that cut a 19-point lead to seven.

No worries. D.J. Cooper, who scored 23 points, made a 3-pointer. The Bobcats cruised from there and have won six straight games.

“There were some times where the only people that really believed in what we were doing and where we were headed were the guys in our locker room and our administration,” Groce said.

Chris Wright led the Hoyas (23-11) with 28 points.

Georgetown Coach John Thompson III said a day earlier his team was playing its best basketball of the season. It certainly didn’t extend into the tournament opener.

The Hoyas looked sensational in winning the first three games of the Big East tournament before losing to West Virginia in the championship game, and appeared to have positioned themselves as a legitimate Final Four threat.

“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.”

The Hoyas also had a rough time in Providence in 1989, when they narrowly beat No. 16 seed Princeton, 50-49.

This time the Hoyas were flustered and frustrated throughout. When Greg Monroe was on his back after being whistled for an offensive foul, he pounded the court in disbelief and anger.

Monroe had 19 points and 13 rebounds, and Hollis Thompson scored 16 points.

Monroe, the 6-foot-11 center with NBA prospects, appeared to lean toward returning for his junior season.

“I’m excited for our guys with everything they’ve been through,” Groce said.