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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Schedules

October 21
L, 17-9
Fordham Family Weekend
Cooper Field
RECAP

Watch: Patriot League Network
October 21
W, 3-0
Seton Hall
Shaw Field
RECAP

BEDN
Watch
October 21
L, 10-0
Uconn
Storrs, Conn.
RECAP

Live Stats
Watch
October 21
L, 3-0
Villanova
Villanova, Pa.
RECAP
October 21
All Day
MAISA Womens Championships
Bronx, N.Y.
October 21
TBA
ITA Regionals
Lynchburg, Va.
October 21
All Day
Kings Point Dinghy Open
Kings Point, N.Y.
October 22
T, 0-0 (2OT)
Butler
Indianapolis, Ind.
RECAP

BEDN
Watch
October 22
9:30 AM
Richmond
Cooper Field
October 22
11:30 AM
Elon
Cooper Field
October 22
W, 3-2
Sacred Heart
Fairfield, Conn.
RECAP

Live Stats
October 22
2:30 PM
Virginia Tech
Cooper Field
October 22
TBA
ITA Regionals
Lynchburg, Va.
October 22
All Day
MAISA Womens Championships
Bronx, N.Y.
October 22
All Day
Kings Point Dinghy Open
Kings Point, N.Y.
October 22
All Day
Head of the Charles HW/LW
Boston, Mass.

Results
Championship 4+ - 1:16 p.m. Lightweight 4+ - 1:16 p.m. Lightweight 8+ - 1:48 p.m.
October 22
14th of 18
The ODU/OBX Intercollegiate Old Dominion
Kilmarlic Golf Club - Powells Point, N.C.
RECAP
October 22
All Day
Head of the Charles
Boston, Mass.

Results
Lightweight 4+ - 1:30 p.m.
October 23
All Day
The ODU/OBX Intercollegiate Old Dominion
Kilmarlic Golf Club - Powells Point, N.C.
October 24
All Day
The ODU/OBX Intercollegiate Old Dominion
Kilmarlic Golf Club - Powells Point, N.C.
October 25
2:00 PM
Providence
Shaw Field

BEDN
Watch
October 26
2:00 PM
Xavier
Shaw Field

BEDN
Watch
October 27
2:00 PM
Villanova
Cooper Field
October 27
7:00 PM
Xavier
Cincinnati, Ohio
October 28
1:00 PM
Holy Cross
Worcester, Mass.
October 28
7:00 PM
St. Johns
Queens, N.Y.

BEDN
Watch
October 28
11:00 AM
James Madison
Cooper Field
October 28
12:00 PM
Davidson
Davidson, N.C.
October 28
1:00 PM
Maryland
Cooper Field
October 28
3:00 PM
Stony Brook
Cooper Field
October 28
All Day
Head of the Schuylkill LW only
Philadelphia, Pa.
October 28
All Day
BIG EAST Championships
Kenosha, Wis.
October 28
All Day
BIG EAST Championships
Kenosha, Wis.
October 28
All Day
War Memorial Regatta
Geneva, N.Y.
October 29
1:00 PM
La Salle
Cooper Field
October 29
2:00 PM
Butler
Indianapolis, Ind.
October 29
All Day
War Memorial Regatta
Geneva, N.Y.
October 29
All Day
Princeton Chase
Princeton, N.J.
October 29
All Day
Princeton Chase HW/LW
Princeton, N.J.
October 30
All Day
USF Intercollegiate
TPC Tampa, Tampa, Fla.
October 31
All Day
USF Intercollegiate
TPC Tampa, Tampa, Fla.
November 1
2:00 PM
Creighton
Shaw Field

BEDN
Watch
November 3
4:00 PM
Rutgers/Pittsburgh/Seton Hall/Villanova
New Brunswick, N.J.
November 3
6:00 PM
St. Johns
McDonough Arena
November 3
TBA
Jack Kramer Invitational
Palos Verdes, Calif.
November 3
TBA
Jack Kramer Invitational
Palos Verdes, Calif.
November 3
All Day
ICSA Mens and Womens Singlehanded National Championships
Tampa, Fla.
November 4
2:00 PM
Lafayette Homecoming
Cooper Field
November 4
10:00 AM
Rutgers/Pittsburgh/Seton Hall/Villanova
New Brunswick, N.J.
November 4
6:00 PM
Seton Hall
McDonough Arena
November 4
TBA
Jack Kramer Invitational
Palos Verdes, Calif.
November 4
All Day
ICSA Mens and Womens Singlehanded National Championships
Tampa, Fla.
November 4
All Day
Head of the Occoquan HW/LW
Fairfax Station, Va.
November 4
TBA
Jack Kramer Invitational
Palos Verdes, Calif.
November 4
All Day
Head of the Occoquan
Fairfax Station, Va.
November 5
All Day
ICSA Mens and Womens Singlehanded National Championships
Tampa, Fla.
November 5
TBA
Jack Kramer Invitational
Palos Verdes, Calif.
November 5
TBA
Jack Kramer Invitational
Palos Verdes, Calif.
November 10
6:00 PM
Marquette
Milwuakee, Wis.
November 10
All Day
NCAA Mid-Atlantic Region Championships
Bethlehem, Pa.
November 10
All Day
NCAA Mid-Atlantic Region Championships
Bethlehem, Pa.
November 11
12:00 PM
Bucknell
Lewisburg, Pa.
November 11
All Day
Coed Atlantic Coast Championships
Bronx, N.Y.
November 11
All Day
ICSA Match Racing National Championships
Charleston, S.C.
November 11
All Day
Womens Atlantic Coast Championships
New London, Conn.
November 12
12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Capital One Arena

FSN
TBD
November 12
2:00 PM
DePaul
Chicago, Ill.
November 12
All Day
ICSA Match Racing National Championships
Charleston, S.C.
November 12
All Day
Coed Atlantic Coast Championships
Bronx, N.Y.
November 12
All Day
Womens Atlantic Coast Championships
New London, Conn.
November 14
7:00 PM
Howard
McDonough Arena
November 15
7:00 PM
Mount St. Marys
Capital One Arena

FS2
TBD
November 16
7:00 PM
Loyola Maryland
Baltimore, Md.
November 17
10:00 AM
Bucknell Invite
Lewisburg, Pa.
November 17
6:00 PM
Providence
McDonough Arena

BEDN
November 18
1:00 PM
Colgate Senior Day
Cooper Field
November 18
12:00 PM
UMES
Capital One Arena

FSN
TBD
November 18
10:00 AM
Bucknell Invite
Lewisburg, Pa.
November 18
6:00 PM
Creighton
McDonough Arena
November 18
All Day
IC4A Championships
New York, N.Y.
November 18
All Day
NCAA Championships
Louisville, Ky.
November 18
All Day
NCAA Championships
Louisville, Ky.
November 18
All Day
ECAC Championships
New York, N.Y.
November 19
2:00 PM
George Washington
Washington, D.C.
November 19
10:00 AM
Bucknell Invite
Lewisburg, Pa.
November 24
8:30 PM
Auburn
Nashville, Tenn.
November 25
6:00 PM
Richmond
Richmond, Va.

TBD
TBD
November 25
8:30 PM
Chattanooga
Nashville, Tenn.
November 26
3:00 PM
Northwestern
Nashville, Tenn.
November 28
8:30 PM
Maine
Capital One Arena

FS1/FS2
TBD
November 29
7:00 PM
Florida International
McDonough Arena
December 3
6:30 PM
Coppin State
Capital One Arena

FS1
TBD
December 7
8:30 PM
Howard
Capital One Arena

FS1
TBD
December 7
7:00 PM
Minnesota
McDonough Arena
December 9
2:30 PM
North Carolina A&T
Capital One Arena

FS2
TBD
December 10
2:00 PM
North Carolina State
Raleigh, N.C.
December 16
12:30 PM
Syracuse
Capital One Arena

CBS
TBD
December 20
7:00 PM
North Texas
Capital One Arena

FS2
TBD
December 21
6:00 PM
VCU
Richmond, Va.
December 23
12:00 PM
Alabama A&M
Capital One Arena

FS1
TBD
December 27
6:30 PM
Butler
Capital One Arena

FS1
TBD
December 28
7:00 PM
Providence
Providence, R.I.

BEDN
Watch
December 30
4:30 PM
Marquette
Milwaukee, Wis.

FS1
TBD
December 30
2:00 PM
Creighton
Omaha, Neb.

BEDN
January 2
9:00 PM
DePaul
Chicago, Ill.

FS1
TBD
January 2
2:00 PM
Xavier
McDonough Arena

BEDN
January 5
7:00 PM
Butler
McDonough Arena

BEDN
January 6
12:00 PM
Creighton
Capital One Arena

FSN
TBD
January 6
All Day
Rose Bowl Regatta
Los Angeles, Calif.
January 7
All Day
Rose Bowl Regatta
Los Angeles, Calif.
January 9
6:30 PM
St. Johns
New York, N.Y.

FS1
TBD
January 10
7:00 PM
Villanova
McDonough Arena

BEDN
Watch
January 12
7:00 PM
St. Johns
Queens, N.Y.

BEDN
January 13
12:00 PM
Seton Hall
Newark, N.J.

FS1
TBD
January 13
1:00 PM
American/George Washington
Washington, D.C. (American University)
January 14
1:00 PM
Seton Hall
South Orange, N.J.

BEDN
January 17
6:30 PM
Villanova
Capital One Arena

FS1
TBD
January 19
7:00 PM
Marquette
McDonough Arena

BEDN
Watch
January 20
12:00 PM
St. Johns
Capital One Arena

FS1
TBD
January 20
1:00 PM
Drexel
McCarthy Pool