Syracuse students agree: Your mother's a Hoya!
Well here it is. The biggest rivalry game of the season. #11/12 versus #2. Thompson III versus Boeheim. Gray versus orange. I really don't think I'm overstating things when I say this is the biggest rivalry game in the nation aside from Duke versus UNC. Over 30,000 people in the Dome. National television. What more of an introduction do you need?
The best player on Georgetown is clearly Jason Clark, who is averaging 15.2ppg, and he can shoot the ball really well. But you can't fail to account for Hollis Thompson as well. He averages 13.7ppg and he shoots the long ball the best in the league, at 48.4%. Syracuse will allow three point shots in the zone, but the key is to contest as many as they can. They have demonstrated that they can do that luckily. The key to this game will be Georgetown's offense versus Syracuse's defense. The team that manages to win the defensive battle will win this game. While G'town's defense has played well lately they have been getting hype for limiting their last two opponents to 44 and 45 points. Those teams were UConn and South Florida. UConn has taken Pitt's place as the hot garbage fire of the Big East after their Monday night affair, and South Florida isn't an offensive powerhouse. Georgetown does have several wins against top teams in the nation however, so you cannot discount their experience against good opponents. These games are always grind out kind of games. Who can do the dirty work will win this game. Fab Melo as a presence in the zone can only help the driving of the G'town guards. Guarding against the "Princeton" back door cut will be key for Fair, Melo, and of course Christmas when he is in. Again it comes down to defense. Syracuse still has the best scoring offense in the Big East, so this match up should scare Georgetown, as well as the 30,000 plus that will be in the Carrier Dome. Rebounding should be a problem for Georgetown as well. G'town's best rebounder is Otto Porter, who comes off the bench. Nate Lubick (3.7ppg, 4.3rpg) may be the worst starter in the Big East I'm convinced. That's not a G'town bias. That is just from watching him play. He's dead weight on the floor against top talent in the Big East. Syracuse is also deeper and have several scoring options. Despite the fact I think all the matchups favor Syracuse, this will again be a close, classic battle between these two teams. If Syracuse doesn't chuck up a bunch of threes and only takes good shots this should go nicely. Syracuse is at home and more talented. I'm picking the Orange over the Hoyas by eight.
This game will be nationally televised on ESPN at 7:00pm tonight. You will be looking live at Brent Musburger and Bob Knight so you'll at least enjoy the game if you are watching on TV if you can't make it to the Dome. Now as long as we have a decently officiated game we'll all be in business. If you need another primer for the game check out this article from the Georgetown student newspaper from a few years ago about the rivalry. They interview me so you know it's got some solid anti-Georgetown statements in it. If you haven't already, see how much of a hater you are with your official Hoya Hater Certification Test here. Of course, you have to check out our old friend Matt Glaude at Hoya Suxa as well. Do remember to keep it classy to the Hoya fans, if they dare make the trip. And hopefully we'll see something like this tonight...