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

 

More Headlines
Weisner Earns BIG EAST Weekly Honors Georgetown University track & field standout Kennedy Weisner (St. Marys, Pa./... Georgetown Celebrates Historic Women’s Soccer... Georgetown University President John J. DeGioia and the Athletics... Rodney Pryor Selected to BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll Georgetown University men’s basketball player Rodney Pryor (Evanston,... Georgetown Finishes Fifth at Bucknell Invitational The Georgetown University swimming & diving team put in a strong showing at...
Shop Now
Auctions

Schedules

December 8
7:00 PM
George Mason
McDonough Arena
December 9
All Day
Hoosier Open
Bloomington, Ind.
December 9
All Day
Hoosier Open
Bloomington, Ind.
December 10
2:00 PM
La Salle
Miami, Fla.

ESPN2
106.7 FM
December 11
2:00 PM
Alabama
McDonough Arena
December 17
12:00 PM
Syracuse
Syracuse, N.Y.

ESPN
106.7 FM
December 22
6:30 PM
UNC Greensboro
Verizon Center

FS1
106.7 FM
December 28
8:30 PM
Marquette
Milwaukee, Wis.

FS1
99.1 FM
December 28
2:00 PM
DePaul
McDonough Arena

BEDN
Watch
December 30
2:00 PM
Marquette
McDonough Arena

MASN2/BEDN
Watch
December 31
11:00 AM
Xavier
Verizon Center

FS1
99.1 FM
December 31
All Day
Rose Bowl Regatta
Los Angeles, Calif.
January 1
All Day
Rose Bowl Regatta
Los Angeles, Calif.
January 4
7:00 PM
Providence
Providence, R.I.

CBSsn
99.1 FM
January 4
7:00 PM
Villanova
Villanova, Pa.

BEDN
Watch
January 6
TBA
Pepperdine women only
Malibu, Calif.
January 7
12:00 PM
Butler
Verizon Center

FOX
99.1 FM
January 8
2:05 PM
Creighton
Omaha, Neb.

BEDN
Watch
January 9
6:30 PM
St. Johns
Verizon Center

FS1
106.7 FM
January 10
7:00 PM
Providence
Providence, R.I.

BEDN
Watch
January 13
7:00 PM
St. Johns
McDonough Arena

FS1
January 13
5:00 PM
George Washington/Bowling Green
Washington, D.C. (GW)
January 14
12:00 PM
UConn
Verizon Center

FOX
99.1 FM
January 14
1:00 PM
American
McCarthy Pool
January 14
All Day
Nittany Lion Challenge
State College, Pa.
January 14
All Day
Nittany Lion Challenge
State College, Pa.
January 15
2:00 PM
Seton Hall
McDonough Arena

BEDN
Watch
January 16
9:00 PM
Providence
Verizon Center

FS1
106.7 FM
January 16
1:00 PM
Rider
McCarthy Pool
January 20
8:00 PM
Xavier
Cincinnati, Ohio

FS1
January 20
All Day
NY Gotham Cup
Staten Island, N.Y.
January 20
All Day
NY Gotham Cup
Staten Island, N.Y.
January 21
1:00 PM
Drexel
Philadelphia, Pa.
January 22
2:00 PM
Xavier
Cincinnati, Ohio

CBS
106.7 FM
January 22
1:00 PM
Butler
Indianapolis, Ind.

BEDN
Watch
January 25
7:00 PM
Creighton
Verizon Center

FSN
106.7 FM
January 27
1:00 PM
Drexel
Philadelphia, Pa.
January 27
5:30 PM
Drexel
Philadelphia, Pa.
January 27
All Day
Penn State National Open
State College, Pa.
January 27
All Day
Penn State National Open
State College, Pa.
January 28
8:00 PM
Butler
Indianapolis, Ind.

CBSsn
106.7 FM
January 28
1:00 PM
Villanova
McDonough Arena

BEDN
January 28
All Day
Penn State National Open
State College, Pa.
January 28
TBA
Penn
Philadelphia, Pa.
January 28
All Day
Penn State National Open
State College, Pa.
January 31
9:00 PM
DePaul
Rosemont, Ill.

FS1
106.7 FM
February 3
12:00 PM
Providence
McDonough Arena

BEDN
February 3
All Day
Armory Invitational
New York, N.Y.
February 3
All Day
Armory Invitational
New York, N.Y.
February 4
12:00 PM
Seton Hall
Verizon Center

FS1
106.7 FM
February 4
All Day
USA Jr. Cross Country Championships
Bend, Ore.
February 4
TBA
Boston College
Chestnut Hill, Mass.
February 4
All Day
USA Jr. Cross Country Championships
Bend, Ore.
February 4
All Day
Armory Invitational
New York, N.Y.
February 4
All Day
Scarlet & White Invitational
Boston, Mass.
February 4
All Day
Scarlet & White Invitational
Boston, Mass.
February 4
All Day
Armory Invitational
New York, N.Y.
February 5
1:00 PM
Creighton
McDonough Arena

BEDN
February 5
TBA
Harvard
Boston, Mass.
February 7
7:00 PM
Villanova
Villanova, Pa.

FS1
106.7 FM
February 8
TBA
Morgan State
Arlington YMCA
February 10
7:00 PM
Seton Hall
South Orange, N.J.

BEDN
February 10
TBA
Florida International
Miami, Fla.
February 10
11:00 AM
Massachusetts
Washington, D.C.
February 10
All Day
FasTrack National Invitational
Staten Island, N.Y.
February 10
All Day
FasTrack National Invitaitonal
Staten Island, N.Y.
February 10
All Day
Iowa State Classic
Ames, Iowa
February 10
All Day
Iowa State Classic
Ames, Iowa
February 11
12:00 PM
Marquette
Verizon Center

FOX
106.7 FM
February 11
10:00 AM
Providence
Providence, R.I.
February 11
4:00 PM
Monmouth N.J.
Washington, D.C.
February 11
All Day
Liberty Elite Invitational
Lynchburg, Va.
February 11
All Day
Valentine Invitational
Boston, Mass.
February 11
All Day
Liberty Elite Invitational
Lynchburg, Va.
February 11
All Day
Valentine Invitational
Boston, Mass.
February 11
All Day
Iowa State Classic
Ames, Iowa
February 11
All Day
Iowa State Classic
Ames, Iowa
February 12
2:00 PM
St. Johns
Queens, N.Y.

BEDN
February 15
TBA
Temple
Arlington YMCA
February 17
7:00 PM
Butler
McDonough Arena

MASN2/BEDN
February 17
6:00 PM
Davidson
Davidson, N.C.
February 18
2:00 PM
Davidson
Davidson, N.C.
February 18
All Day
Penn State Tune-Up
State College, Pa.
February 18
All Day
Alex Wilson Invitational
Notre Dame, Ind.
February 18
All Day
Penn State Tune-Up
State College, Pa.
February 18
All Day
Alex Wilson Invitational
Notre Dame, Ind.
February 19
3:30 PM
Creighton
Omaha, Neb.

FS1
106.7 FM
February 19
2:00 PM
Xavier
McDonough Arena

BEDN
February 19
1:00 PM
Davidson
Davidson, N.C.
February 22
7:00 PM
DePaul
Verizon Center

CBSsn
106.7 FM
February 22
3:00 PM
Coppin State
Baltimore, Md.
February 22
11:00 AM
Morgan State
Arlington YMCA
February 23
All Day
Day 1
Long Island, N.Y.
February 23
All Day
BIG EAST Championships
Staten Island, N.Y.
February 24
8:00 PM
Marquette
Milwaukee, Wis.

BEDN
February 24
4:00 PM
USC Upstate
Spartanburg, S.C.
February 24
12:00 PM
George Washington
Washington, D.C.
February 24
All Day
BIG EAST Championships
Staten Island, N.Y.
February 24
All Day
Day 2
Long Island, N.Y.
February 24
All Day
BIG EAST Championships
Staten Island, N.Y.
February 25
12:00 PM
St. Johns
New York, N.Y.

FSN
106.7 FM
February 25
2:00 PM
Wofford
Spartanburg, S.C.
February 25
All Day
Kiawah Spring Invitational
Kiawah Island, Sc.
February 25
All Day
Day 3
Long Island, N.Y.
February 25
All Day
BIG EAST Championships
Staten Island, N.Y.
February 26
1:00 PM
DePaul
Chicago, Ill.

FS1
February 26
12:00 PM
Dayton
Spartanburg, S.C.
February 26
All Day
Day 4
Long Island, N.Y.
February 26
All Day
Kiawah Spring Invitational
Kiawah Island, Sc.
February 27
All Day
Kiawah Spring Invitational
Kiawah Island, Sc.
February 28
6:30 PM
Seton Hall
Newark, N.J.

FS1
106.7 FM
February 28
2:00 PM
Navy
Annapolis, Md.
February 28
All Day
Kiawah Spring Invitational
Kiawah Island, Sc.
March 1
2:30 PM
George Washington
Arlington, Va.
March 3
2:30 PM
Chicago State
Port Charlotte, Fla.
March 4
12:00 PM
Villanova
Verizon Center

FOX/FS2
106.7 FM
March 4
TBA
First Round
Milwaukee, Wis.

BEDN
Watch
March 4
2:30 PM
Boston College
Port Charlotte, Fla.
March 4
All Day
IC4A Championships
Boston, Mass.
March 4
All Day
ECAC Championships
Boston, Mass.
March 5
TBA
Quarterfinals
Milwaukee, Wis.

FS2
March 5
10:30 AM
Ball State
Port Charlotte, Fla.
March 5
1:00 PM
UC San Diego
San Diego, Calif.
March 5
2:30 PM
UC San Diego
San Diego, Calif.
March 5
All Day
Battle at Boulder Creek
Las Vegas, Nv.
March 5
All Day
ECAC Championships
Boston, Mass.
March 5
All Day
IC4A Championships
Boston, Mass.
March 6
TBA
Semifinals
Milwaukee, Wis.

FS1
March 6
All Day
Battle at Boulder Creek
Las Vegas, Nv.
March 7
9:00 PM
Championship
Milwaukee, Wis.

FS1
March 7
4:00 PM
Central Michigan
Port Charlotte, Fla.
March 7
TBA
Long Beach State
Long Beach, Calif.
March 7
All Day
Battle at Boulder Creek
Las Vegas, Nv.
March 7
TBA
UC Irvine
Irvine, Calif.