0 Comments Published on 2.09.2011 by Brian Harrison
And thank God for that!
We here at Orange::44 don't get too worked up over many things. I mean how excited can you get over playing South Florida? But we do get exceptionally worked up for the big rivalry games. After all, rivalries are what make college sports special. So before we get to the preview, I review the top three moments, in my opinion, of this rivalry.
There are a lot of great moments in this rivalry, between John Thompson getting kicked out of the Carrier Dome, and Ewing taking some swings. But the biggest honorable mention for Syracuse fans has to be the 2007 home win versus Georgetown. Syracuse was basically left for dead in the league, and they came back to beat #10/9 on Senior Night. Cue the court rush.
It's 2004, and #24 Syracuse is in Washington. The game is tied with seconds left, and Hakim Warrick brings the ball up the court. Focusing on Warrick, Georgetown loses McNamara and Gerry hit a huge three ball at the buzzer to give SU the win. It really didn't have any impact on the season, but beating your rival in their house always feels good. To do it on a buzzer beater is better. And considering until the 2009-2010 season it was the last time Syracuse won in DC it was a very good win.
Syracuse needed four wins in four days in the Big East Tournament to make the NCAA Tournament in 2006. They did just that, but in game three Syracuse faced #23 Georgetown in the semifinal round. Georgetown was ahead the entire game until with only seconds remaining, Matt Gorman got a steal and Gerry McNamara passed the ball up to Eric Devendorf for a lay up and their first lead of the game. Syracuse held on to win and eventually won the Tournament.
Syracuse was riding a winning streak of over 50 games in February of 1980. It was the last men's basketball game in Manley Field House and SU was ranked #2. We all know how this ends. Syracuse lost and John Thompson proclaimed "Manley Field House is now closed." What a dick. That is the stuff legendary rivalries are made of.
So we fast forward to this season. #11 Georgetown enters the Carrier Dome to take on #12/13 Syracuse. Let's get some numbers out of the way first. John Thompson III has never won in the Carrier Dome. Georgetown has beaten the Orange once in the Carrier Dome since 1995 and have not won in the Dome since 2002. Coincidentally enough, that was the last game that was a third loss in three games in the Carrier Dome. That being said, Georgetown has won six games in a row, and Syracuse two. Austin Freeman is the leading scorer for the Hoyas, earning 18.7ppg. Chris Wright is also averaging 12.8ppg. Both can shoot, but G'town was 0-11 in the second half of their game against Providence. This game breaks down pretty simply though. Syracuse has a tough defense that is now clicking on all cylinders again. Georgetown has a very good offense that has the capability of scoring and they shoot the ball very well. The SU defense is about as good as the Georgetown offense. So what does that mean for the game? Syracuse will have to earn rebounds. The good news is that Rick Jackson is averaging five more rebounds a game than the Georgetown leader Julian Vaughn. If Syracuse pays attention and limits back door cuts for Georgetown, as well as earns rebounds off missed Georgetown shots, Syracuse will win this game. Earning transition baskets will also be important. I think Georgetown will probably get out to an early lead, but Syracuse will again come back and win this game, similar to how the Connecticut game went for them. I see Syracuse winning this one by five at home.
We're really ramping up the hate on Twitter today. Check out @BH_Orange44 and @JBren for coverage before the game. As there will be a large crowd in the Dome coverage may be spotty later, but look for a lot of hate leading up to the tip. The game, in case you just missed it, is 7:00pm tonight on ESPN / ESPN HD. Oh and one more item, courtesy of our friends the Idiots on Sports...