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Renewing the Rivalry: 34 Years Later, Syracuse vs. Georgetown Is Still Relevant

 

via NBC

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On Tuesday afternoon, Syracuse and Georgetown renewed their tradition-rich rivalry when they agreed to play each other four years in a row, much to the delight of Orange and Hoya fans everywhere.  The games will begin in the 2015-2016 season in Washington D.C. and will alternate home locations for the next four years.  This means that the Carrier Dome will host the Hoyas in 2016-2017 and 2018-2019 (attendance records will be broken).

In honor of the renewed rivalry that made the Big East what it once was, here are the top five Syracuse-Georgetown games in the history of the longstanding rivalry:

5. Syracuse gets revenge on Georgetown for regular-season beatdowns in the Big East Tournament (Syracuse 58, Georgetown 55 OT: 3/15/2013)

The Hoyas owned the Orange twice during the regular season in 2013, spoiling the largest on-campus attendance record at the Dome.  Otto Porter made Boeheim’s zone look silly when he dropped 33 points on the Orange, leading the Hoyas to a 57-46 win.  Later in the season, the Orange traveled to DC to face the Hoyas in the last-ever conference game between these two teams as members of the Big East.  Georgetown embarrassed the Orange with a 61-39 romping.  However, the Orange fought back and held off the fifth-ranked Hoyas in the Big East Tournament Semifinals to get the last laugh. To many fans, “the rivalry was closed.”  That game kickstarted Syracuse’s run to the Final Four.

4. Patrick Ewing throws fists, embodies the rivalry in the 1980s (Georgetown 74. Syracuse 65: 3/8/1985)

One thing that college basketball fans miss from the early years of the Big East is the ridiculously physical play that was allowed.  The physicality helped make the Big East Conference a showcase for the college basketball fans around the country.  In the 1985 Big East tournament, Patrick Ewing connected an elbow on Syracuse guard Pearl Washington, who responded with his own elbow.  Then all hell broke loose as Ewing threw a right hook that Washington ducked.  Nothing is more symbolic of early Big East play than this confrontation, as both players received technicals—and neither was ejected.

3. John Thompson receives three technicals from three different officials, is ejected (Syracuse 89, Georgetown 87: 3/4/1990)

John Thompson and Jim Boeheim were two of the reasons the Syracuse and Georgetown rivalry caught fire so quickly.  The two brilliant coaches had battles year-in and year-out on the court.  In a 1990 matchup at the Carrier Dome, Thompson was T’ed up during a one-and-one.  To show his disagreement with the call, he left his designated coaching area and received a second technical foul.  The third referee then hit Thompson with his third technical when he marched out onto the court to voice his displeasure.  These fouls, along with a questionable foul call, allowed Syracuse to complete an improbable comeback.

2. Pearl Washington helps Syracuse knock off No.1 Georgetown (Syracuse 65 ,Georgetown 63: 1/28/1985)

In the same 1985 season, no. 1 Georgetown was upset by eleventh-ranked Syracuse at the Carrier Dome.  The Orange forced a turnover with 34 seconds left in the game and Washington sank a 15-footer to give the Orange the lead for good.  Despite only scoring nine points before the shot, Boeheim trusted his guard, and he delivered big time.

1. John Thompson lights a fire under Syracuse fans’, a rivalry is born (Georgetown 52, Syracuse 50: 2/12/1980)

Unfortunately, Georgetown came out on top of the top moment between these two teams.  But, in the long run, there probably would not be a rivalry without this game’s off-court antics.  Leading up to this game, the Orange had won 57 straight at their home before the Dome, Manley Field House.  After the game ended and the win streak had been snapped in the last game ever played on that court, Thompson declared, “Manley Field House is officially closed.”  What followed was the birth of the Orange/Hoya rivalry.

Thirty-four years later, the rivalry was reborn with scheduling, and fans can look forward to more great games to come.

Posted by: Jason Weingold 

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