Georgetown v. Syracuse

Jan. 13, 2009

Georgetown v. Syracuse – The Rivalry Renewed!!

Washington is currently experiencing a revival of Leonard Bernstein’s West Side Story at the National Theatre.  On Wednesday night, the BIG EAST’s version of the Jets v. the Sharks renews its 30-years war at the Verizon Center as our Hoyas take on the Syracuse Orange. 

 

As a member of Generation Laughna, I can recall all 30 years of the rivalry, so I offer my own unvarnished perspective on the long-running production. This is purely subjective on my part, and I know that others, likely of more recent vintage, will disagree with me and have their own perspectives on the rivalry.  That is as it should be, as “WE ARE GEORGETOWN” and were taught to think analytically on the Hilltop. (Unlike those from a certain unnamed school in upstate New York!!)  

 

The rivalry began in earnest with the 1979 ECAC tournament game (pre-BIG EAST days) at Cole Field House when, led by John Duren and Craig Shelton and frosh phenom Eric Floyd, Georgetown defeated the Orange to go to the NCAA tournament.  The seminal game in the rivalry likely was the 1980 "Manley Field House is Officially Closed" game, when Coach John Thompson, Jr.'s Hoyas, still led by Shelton, Duren and Floyd, made a ferocious comeback from a big deficit to defeat the Orange.  Thereafter, the rivalry grew, as did the BIG EAST, and for much of the 1980s the Hoyas and the Orange were the two preeminent teams in the BIG EAST, although schools like St. John's, Boston College and Villanova certainly had their days and seasons.   With this as prologue, I present my five top GU v. Cuse games. 

 

My Fave 5 GU v. Cuse Games:

 

    1.    3/10/84 GU 82 Cuse 71 (OT) (BIG EAST Final):  The all-time Numero Uno!!  Perhaps the most brutal, dramatic and satisfying game that I can ever recall.  Patrick Ewing scored 27 points and garnered 16 rebounds a night after shooting 11 for 12 against St. Johns.  Michael Graham gave a taste of things to come in the NCAA tournament by his performance in this game.  I believe that he tangled, among others, with Andre Hawkins, one of the all-time Cuse thugs.  Pearl Washington put on a show that only the Pearl could perform - - making Gene Smith (and any other Hoya who tried to defend him) look bad, very bad).  We were a bit lucky to get this one into overtime, but once we did, as with the 2007 Regional Final Game against UNC, it was all Georgetown.  Cuse Coach Jim Boeheim was in “full whine” after the game, complaining, as he kicked over a chair, that “The Best Team Did Not Win Tonight.”  Wrong-O Jimmie Boy! 

 

    2.    3/08/87 GU 69 Cuse 59 (BIG EAST Final):  This game was the capstone of a three-game season sweep by Reggie and the Miracles of the Orangemen, led by Ronnie Seikaly, Sherman Douglass and freshman Derrick Coleman.  Ironically, Syracuse made it to the NCAA finals where they lost on a last-second corner jumper by Keith Smart of Indiana.  (I still hate Slick Rick Pitino and Billy Donovan from Providence for beating us in the Elite Eight.)  Perry McDonald, 6’04, went head-to-head with Seikaly at center and Reggie Williams was, as always, exquisite.  (I will also confess that at Mass that morning at little Saint Francis of Assisi Church by the Garden, I actively prayed for the Hoyas to win!) 

 

    3.    3/12/89 GU 88 Cuse 79 (BIG EAST Final):  Charles "Smitty" Smith led HIS team to the BIG EAST Championship as he, once again, completely outplayed the more heavily-touted Sherman Douglass (another DC kid from Spingarn).  Smitty was helped by, among others, frosh Alonzo Mourning and, off the bench, sophomore Dikembe Mutombo, but this was, without question, Smitty's team.  As I reminisced with my freshman floormate and HHC blog namesake Mike Laughna at the post-game, tournament victory party that late Sunday afternoon, little did I know, after the successes of the '80s, that it would be 18 years before we would once again be crowned BIG EAST Tournament Champions in 2007.   

 

    4.    2/13/80 GU 52 Cuse 50:  "Manley Field House is officially closed!"  I did not attend this game, but I remember listening to it at the Law Center where I was taking some grad courses.  The game was all Syracuse until the final stretch, when Georgetown put on an incredible rally to tie and then win the game on two free throws by Sleepy Floyd with five seconds left.  And not only did Georgetown close Manley with this one, but also it ended the Cuse’s 57-game home winning streak.  (In my view, this Hoya team should have been Coach Thompson's first NCAA Championship team but, after spurting to a 10-point half-time lead against Iowa in the East Regional Finals, we pulled the air out of the ball in the second half and lost 81-80 on the last play of the game.)

          

    5.   3/05/79 GU 66 Cuse 58 (ECAC South Finals at Cole Field House):  Junior Stars John "Ba-Ba" Duren and Craig "Big Sky" Shelton joined forces with frosh phenom Eric "Sleepy" Floyd to knock the "Louie (Orr) and (Roosevelt) Bowie Show" out of the running for the NCAAs.  We made the Cuse guards, Marty Head and Bernie Cohen, look very bad in a most satisfying victory.    

 

(As I look over my list, I realize that the latest game on my list was almost 20 years ago!  Perhaps it is true that memories take on certain poignancy over time!!  I know that there have been numerous memorable match-ups since 1989 when Smitty did Douglass, but these above five games still stick out for me!)

 

I have made it to the Carrier Dome once for a Georgetown v. Cuse game.  (Why would anyone want to go back in the winter!!  And speaking of that, why would anyone put an air conditioning company in a city that only thaws for about 5 months a year!!)  That was two years ago, the Final Four season, when the Orange, even without their long-retired “Dome Ranger” but aided by their annoying Orange mascot and the even-more annoying Eric “Tattoo Boy” Devendorf, laid a whuppin’ on our Hoyas by the score of 72-58.  Ironically, that loss, occurring just prior to the end of the regular season, may have been the spur to the eight game winning streak we put on taking us through the championship of the BIG EAST and all the way to the Final Four.  At the time, I was, of course, disappointed  by the defeat, but a friendly Syracuse law grad and fan, who sat  next to me during the game, uttered the following unforgettable quote (with apologies to Winston Churchill): 

 

Don't worry!  You'll go to bed and tomorrow, you will still have a Georgetown degree.  These fans will go to bed, and tomorrow, they are still in Syracuse!! 

 

 With that, I left the Dome chuckling!

 

So, wear your gray, be loud and be at the Verizon Center in force on Wednesday, January 14 at 7:30 p.m. for the latest chapter in the rivalry that made the BIG EAST!! In fact, come out early to the pre-game Hoya Hoop Club reception in the back room of Bar Louie beginning at 5:30 p.m.  There will be complimentary appetizers, discounted drinks, and door prizes.  BE THERE!!

 

Finally, on behalf of all the HHC blog writers, I want to give a big attaboy to our leader John Hawkes (Generation Burton) for his yeoman service in coordinating and posting the blog over the past month or so while our regular staffer, Paul Muite, visited his family in Africa.  The blogs have been posted without any apparent hitch and John, as always, has kept us well-informed on our duties!!  Well done!  I also want to commend all of this year’s new bloggers who have stepped in and made this blog even more enjoyable to follow!!  But then again,   

 

WE ARE GEORGETOWN!! 

 

Beat the Cuse!  Beat the Cuse!!

 

Respectfully submitted, 

Michael Karam, F '72, L '76, L '82

Proud Member of Generation Laughna

 

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January 21
L, 78-62
Depaul
McDonough Arena
RECAP

CBSsn
January 24
8:30 PM
DePaul
Capital One Arena

FS1
106.7 WJFK-FM
January 26
7:00 PM
Butler
Indianapolis, Ind.

BEDN
January 26
All Day
Columbia Challenge
New York, N.Y.
January 26
All Day
Columbia Challenge
New York, N.Y.
January 27
8:00 PM
Creighton
Omaha, Neb.

CBSSN
99.1 WNEW-FM
January 27
1:00 PM
Maryland
College Park, Md.
January 27
All Day
Columbia Challenge
New York, N.Y.
January 27
All Day
Columbia Challenge
New York, N.Y.
January 28
2:00 PM
Xavier
Cincinnati, Ohio

FS2
February 2
6:00 PM
Drexel
Philadelphia, Pa.
February 2
All Day
BU Scarlet & White Invite
Boston, Mass.
February 2
All Day
BU Scarlet & White Invite
Boston, Mass.
February 3
6:00 PM
Xavier
Cincinnati, Ohio

CBSSN
99.1 WNEW-FM
February 3
1:00 PM
Villanova
Villanova, Pa.

BEDN
Watch
February 3
12:00 PM
UMBC
Catonsville, Md.
February 3
2:00 PM
Seton Hall/Providence
Berkeley (N.J.) Aquatic Club
February 3
All Day
Villanova Invitational
Staten Island, N.Y.
February 3
All Day
BU Scarlet & White Invite
Boston, Mass.
February 3
All Day
Villanova Invitational
Staten Island, N.Y.
February 3
All Day
BU Scarlet & White Invite
Boston, Mass.
February 3
TBA
Penn
Philadelphia, Pa.
February 4
TBA
Penn
Philadelphia, Pa.
February 6
8:30 PM
Providence
Providence, R.I.

FS1
99.1 WNEW-FM
February 9
2:00 PM
Seton Hall
McDonough Arena

BEDN
February 9
10:00 AM
Memphis
Fort Myers, Fla.
February 9
2:30 PM
North Carolina State
Fort Myers, Fla.
February 9
All Day
BU David Hemery Valentine Invite
Boston, Mass.
February 9
All Day
BU David Hemery Valentine Invite
Boston, Mass.
February 9
All Day
Iowa State Classic
Ames, Iowa
February 9
TBA
Monmouth N.J.
Yates Field House
February 9
All Day
Iowa State Classic
Ames, Iowa
February 10
4:00 PM
Seton Hall
Capital One Arena

CBSSN
106.7 WJFK-FM
February 10
4:45 PM
Florida Gulf Coast
Fort Myers, Fla.
February 10
7:00 PM
Ball State
Fort Myers, Fla.
February 10
3:00 PM
Saint Josephs
Cooper Field
February 10
All Day
Iowa State Classic
Ames, Iowa
February 10
All Day
Iowa State Classic
Ames, Iowa
February 10
All Day
BU David Hemery Valentine Invite
Boston, Mass.
February 10
All Day
BU David Hemery Valentine Invite
Boston, Mass.
February 11
2:00 PM
St. Johns
McDonough Arena

BEDN
February 11
11:15 AM
LIU Brooklyn
Fort Myers, Fla.
February 13
6:30 PM
Butler
Indianapolis, Ind.

CBSSN
99.1 WNEW-FM
February 13
12:00 PM
Towson
Yates Field House
February 13
3:00 PM
High Point
Cooper Field
February 16
8:00 PM
DePaul
Chicago, Ill.

BEDN
Watch
February 16
4:00 PM
Wake Forest
Winston-Salem, N.C.
February 16
12:00 PM
Michigan State
Columbia, S.C.
February 17
12:00 PM
Gardner-Webb
Winston-Salem, N.C.
February 17
10:00 AM
Mercer
Columbia, S.C.
February 17
3:00 PM
Southern Illinois
Columbia, S.C.
February 17
1:00 PM
Robert Morris
Moon Township, Pa.
February 17
3:00 PM
Towson
Towson, Md.
February 17
All Day
JDL Fast Track Last Chance Meet
Winston-Salem, N.C.
February 17
All Day
Alex Wilson Invitational
Notre Dame, Ind.
February 17
All Day
Alex Wilson Invitational
Notre Dame, Ind.
February 17
All Day
JDL Fast Track Last Chance Meet
Winston-Salem, N.C.
February 18
3:00 PM
Marquette
Milwaukee, Wis.

BEDN
Watch
February 18
10:00 AM
Navy
Winston-Salem, N.C.
February 18
12:30 PM
South Carolina
Columbia, S.C.
February 21
6:30 PM
Xavier
Capital One Arena

FS1/FSN
99.1 WNEW-FM
February 21
10:00 AM
Day 1
Geneva, Ohio
February 22
10:00 AM
Day 2
Geneva, Ohio
February 23
11:00 AM
Creighton
McDonough Arena

BEDN
February 23
6:00 PM
Davidson
Davidson, N.C.
February 23
9:30 AM
Pittsburgh
Conway, S.C.
February 23
2:30 PM
Coastal Carolina
Conway, S.C.
February 23
10:00 AM
Day 3
Geneva, Ohio
February 23
All Day
BIG EAST Indoor Track & Field Championships
Staten Island, N.Y.
February 23
TBA
Xavier
Cincinnati, Ohio
February 23
TBA
Xavier
Cincinnati, Ohio
February 23
All Day
BIG EAST Indoor Track & Field Championships
Staten Island, N.Y.
February 24
12:00 PM
Providence
Capital One Arena

CBSSN
99.1 WNEW-FM
February 24
2:00 PM
Davidson
Davidson, N.C.
February 24
9:30 AM
Pittsburgh
Conway, S.C.
February 24
12:00 PM
Saint Josephs
Conway, S.C.
February 24
10:00 AM
Day 4
Geneva, Ohio
February 24
12:00 PM
Drexel
Philadelphia, Pa.
February 24
12:00 PM
Towson
Towson, Md.
February 24
All Day
BIG EAST Indoor Track & Field Championships
Staten Island, N.Y.
February 24
All Day
BIG EAST Indoor Track & Field Championships
Staten Island, N.Y.
February 25
2:00 PM
Providence
McDonough Arena

BEDN
Watch
February 25
1:00 PM
Davidson
Davidson, N.C.
February 25
12:00 PM
Coastal Carolina
Conway, S.C.
February 25
11:00 AM
William & Mary
Williamsburg, Va.
February 26
7:00 PM
Marquette
Capital One Arena

FS1
99.1 WNEW-FM
February 27
2:30 PM
George Washington
Arlington, Va.
February 27
3:00 PM
Mount St. Marys
Cooper Field
February 28
3:30 PM
Johns Hopkins
Cooper Field
March 2
1:00 PM
Lafayette
Nats Academy
March 2
3:00 PM
Lafayette
Nats Academy
March 3
TBA
Villanova
Philadelphia, Pa.

FOX
TBD
March 3
3:00 PM
Mount St. Marys
Port Charlotte, Fla.
March 3
12:30 PM
Columbia
Nats Academy
March 3
3:00 PM
Howard
Nats Academy
March 3
1:00 PM
Hofstra
Hempstead, N.Y.
March 3
1:00 PM
Delaware
Cooper Field
March 3
All Day
ECAC Indoor Track & Field Championships
Boston, Mass.
March 3
All Day
IC4A Indoor Track & Field Championships
Boston, Mass.
March 4
11:30 AM
Dartmouth
Port Charlotte, Fla.
March 4
3:00 PM
UMBC
Nats Academy
March 4
12:00 PM
Nova Southeastern
Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
March 4
All Day
IC4A Indoor Track & Field Championships
Boston, Mass.
March 4
All Day
ECAC Indoor Track & Field Championships
Boston, Mass.
March 5
9:00 AM
Florida Atlantic
Boca Raton, Fla.
March 5
9:00 AM
Florida Atlantic
Boca Raton, Fla.
March 6
4:00 PM
Northeastern
Port Charlotte, Fla.
March 6
3:00 PM
Lynn University
Boca Raton, Fla.
March 6
3:00 PM
Marist
Cooper Field
March 7
12:00 PM
Western Michigan
Port Charlotte, Fla.
March 7
8:00 PM
Arizona State
Tempe, Ariz.
March 8
10:00 AM
Barry
Miami Shores, Fla.
March 8
12:00 PM
Barry
Miami Shores, Fla.
March 9
12:00 PM
Western Michigan
Port Charlotte, Fla.
March 9
7:00 PM
Grand Canyon
Phoenix, Ariz.
March 9
All Day
NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships
College Station, Texas
March 9
All Day
NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships
College Station, Texas
March 10
2:00 PM
Saint Josephs
Port Charlotte, Fla.
March 10
12:00 PM
Iowa
Phoenix, Ariz.
March 10
6:00 PM
Minnesota
Phoenix, Ariz.
March 10
12:00 PM
Hobart
Cooper Field
March 10
3:00 PM
Penn
Cooper Field
March 10
All Day
NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships
College Station, Texas
March 10
All Day
Virginia Scrimmage
Charlottesville, Va.
March 10
All Day
NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships
College Station, Texas
March 10
All Day
Virginia Scrimmage
Charlottesville, Va.
March 11
12:00 PM
Saint Josephs
Port Charlotte, Fla.
March 11
11:00 AM
Iowa
Phoenix, Ariz.
March 14
3:00 PM
Coppin State
Shirley Povich Field
March 16
3:00 PM
Princeton
Shirley Povich Field
March 16
11:00 AM
Eastern Illinois
Charleston, S.C.
March 16
3:30 PM
Jacksonville State
Charleston, S.C.
March 16
3:00 PM
Old Dominion
Norfolk, Va.
March 17
1:00 PM
Princeton
Shirley Povich Field
March 17
4:00 PM
Princeton
Shirley Povich Field
March 17
11:00 AM
Jacksonville State
Charleston, S.C.
March 17
10:00 AM
Middle Tennessee State
Norfolk, Va.
March 17
1:00 PM
Villanova
Cooper Field
March 17
1:00 PM
Drexel
Philadelphia, Pa.
March 17
TBA
Temple
Arlington YMCA
March 18
1:00 PM
Princeton
Shirley Povich Field
March 18
10:00 AM
Texas
Charleston, S.C.
March 21
4:00 PM
Navy
Shirley Povich Field
March 21
3:00 PM
Loyola Maryland
Cooper Field
March 21
7:00 PM
Loyola Maryland
Cooper Field
March 23
5:00 PM
Ohio State
Columbus, Ohio
March 23
11:00 AM
Marquette
Yates Field House
March 23
TBA
Rhode Island
Yates Field House
March 24
3:00 PM
Ohio State
Columbus, Ohio
March 24
12:00 PM
Providence
Providence, R.I.
March 24
2:00 PM
Providence
Providence, R.I.
March 24
11:00 AM
Navy
Annapolis, Md.
March 24
12:00 PM
Florida
Cooper Field
March 24
1:00 PM
Marquette
Milwaukee, Wis.
March 24
2:00 PM
Boston University
Arlington YMCA
March 24
All Day
Princeton
Princeton, N.J.
March 24
All Day
Occoquan Challenge
Fairfax Station, Va.
March 24
All Day
Delaware
Washington, D.C.
March 24
All Day
Occoquan Challenge
Fairfax Station, Va.
March 25
1:00 PM
Ohio State
Columbus, Ohio
March 25
12:00 PM
Providence
Providence, R.I.
March 25
All Day
Princeton
Washington, D.C.
March 27
3:00 PM
Delaware State
Shirley Povich Field
March 28
2:00 PM
Kent State
Nats Academy
March 28
2:30 PM
Richmond
Richmond, Va.
March 28
7:00 PM
Maryland
College Park, Md.
March 29
6:00 PM
UNC Greensboro
Greensboro, N.C.
March 29
12:00 PM
St. Johns
Nats Academy
March 29
2:00 PM
St. Johns
Nats Academy
March 30
4:00 PM
UNC Greensboro
Greensboro, N.C.
March 30
12:00 PM
St. Johns
Nats Academy
March 31
1:00 PM
UNC Greensboro
Greensboro, N.C.
March 31
12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Cincinnati, Ohio
March 31
12:00 PM
Denver
Cooper Field
March 31
All Day
Class of 2004 Cup vs. Harvard
Boston, Mass.
March 31
TBA
Navy
Annapolis, Md.
April 3
3:00 PM
Coppin State
Hanover, Md.
April 4
3:00 PM
Maryland Eastern Shore
Princess Anne, Md.
April 4
3:00 PM
George Washington
Washington, D.C.
April 4
11:00 AM
St. Francis Brooklyn
Washington, D.C.
April 4
2:00 PM
Denver
Denver, Colo.
April 6
3:00 PM
Xavier
Shirley Povich Field
April 6
3:00 PM
George Washington
GW Tennis Center
April 6
All Day
GW Invite
Washington, D.C.
April 6
All Day
GW Invite
Washington, D.C.
April 7
1:00 PM
Xavier
Shirley Povich Field
April 7
1:00 PM
DePaul
Chicago, Ill.
April 7
3:00 PM
DePaul
Chicago, Ill.
April 7
12:00 PM
Butler
Cooper Field
April 7
3:00 PM
Providence
Cooper Field
April 7
All Day
Yale & MIT
Cambridge, Mass.
April 7
All Day
GW Invite
Washington, D.C.
April 7
All Day
GW Invite
Washington, D.C.
April 8
1:00 PM
Xavier
Shirley Povich Field
April 8
1:00 PM
DePaul
Chicago, Ill.
April 8
All Day
Harvard & Columbia
Cambridge, Mass.
April 11
3:00 PM
Navy
Annapolis, Md.
April 11
4:00 PM
George Mason
Fairfax, Va.
April 13
3:00 PM
George Mason
Shirley Povich Field
April 14
2:00 PM
George Mason
Shirley Povich Field
April 14
12:00 PM
Butler
Nats Academy
April 14
2:00 PM
Butler
Nats Academy
April 14
1:00 PM
Villanova
Villanova, Pa.
April 14
2:00 PM
Vanderbilt
Nashville, Tenn.
April 14
TBA
George Washington
Washington, D.C.
April 14
All Day
Knecht Cup
Mercer Lake, N.J.
April 14
All Day
Navy
Annapolis, Md.
April 14
All Day
Stanford Invitational
Redwood Shores, Calif.
April 15
1:00 PM
George Mason
Fairfax, Va.
April 15
11:00 AM
Butler
Nats Academy
April 15
All Day
Stanford Invitational
Redwood Shores, Calif.
April 17
6:00 PM
UMBC
Baltimore, Md.
April 17
6:00 PM
Towson
Nats Academy
April 18
6:00 PM
Virginia
Nats Academy
April 18
3:00 PM
Uconn
Washington, D.C
April 19
3:00 PM
George Mason
Fairfax, Va.
April 19
3:00 PM
George Mason
Fairfax, Va.
April 20
3:00 PM
St. Johns
Queens, N.Y.
April 21
1:00 PM
St. Johns
Queens, N.Y.
April 21
12:00 PM
Villanova
Philadelphia, Pa.
April 21
2:00 PM
Villanova
Philadelphia, Pa.
April 21
12:00 PM
Villanova
Washington, D.C.
April 21
12:00 PM
Villanova
Washington, D.C.
April 21
12:00 PM
Marquette
Washington, D.C.
April 21
3:00 PM
NJIT
Cooper Field
April 21
All Day
George Washington
Washington, D.C.
April 21
All Day
Penn & Princeton
Princeton, N.J.
April 21
All Day
Cherry Hill Invitational
Camden, N.J.
April 21
All Day
Class of 2006 Cup vs. Princeton
Princeton, N.J.
April 22
1:00 PM
St. Johns
Queens, N.Y.
April 22
12:00 PM
Villanova
Philadelphia, Pa.