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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August 18
1:00 PM
West Virginia
Shaw Field

Fox Sports Go
Watch
August 18
5:00 PM
Towson
Towson, Md.
August 19
1:00 PM
Virginia
Shaw Field
August 20
1:00 PM
George Washington
Shaw Field

Fox Sports Go
August 24
7:00 PM
Delaware
Newark, Del.
August 25
5:00 PM
American
Washington, D.C.
August 25
2:00 PM
Davidson
Cooper Field
August 25
5:00 PM
Howard
Washington, D.C. (at American)
August 26
12:00 PM
Santa Clara
Washington, D.C. (at Howard)
August 26
5:00 PM
American
Washington, D.C. (at Howard)
August 27
1:00 PM
Loyola Maryland
Shaw Field
August 27
1:00 PM
Appalachian State
Cooper Field
August 28
1:00 PM
Coastal Carolina
Shaw Field
September 1
4:00 PM
Cal Poly
Shaw Field
September 1
8:00 PM
Stanford
Palo Alto, Calif.
September 1
12:30 PM
The Citadel
Arlington, Va. (The Pentagon)
September 1
2:00 PM
Rider
Cooper Field
September 2
10:30 AM
Columbia
Arlington, Va. (Ft. Myer)
September 2
3:30 PM
Army West Point
Arlington, Va. (Ft. Myer)
September 3
4:00 PM
San Jose State
San Jose, Calif.

Mountain West Network
September 3
1:00 PM
Lock Haven
Cooper Field
September 4
12:00 PM
UCLA
Shaw Field
September 8
4:00 PM
Saint Francis PA
Shaw Field
September 8
4:30 PM
Coppin State vs. Buffalo
McDonough Arena
September 8
7:00 PM
UMass-Lowell
Lowell, Mass.
September 8
7:00 PM
James Madison
McDonough Arena
September 8
All Day
Spiked Shoe Invitational
State College, Pa.
September 8
All Day
Spiked Shoe Invitational
State College, Pa.
September 9
6:00 PM
Campbell
Buies Creek, N.C.
September 9
7:00 PM
UConn
Storrs, Conn.
September 9
11:00 AM
Buffalo vs. James Madison
McDonough Arena
September 9
1:00 PM
Coppin State
McDonough Arena
September 9
4:30 PM
Coppin State vs. James Madison
McDonough Arena
September 9
7:00 PM
Buffalo
McDonough Arena
September 10
1:00 PM
Rutgers
Shaw Field
September 10
12:00 PM
Holy Cross
Worcester, Mass.
September 12
2:00 PM
District of Columbia
Washington, D.C.
September 15
11:00 AM
Arkansas State
Houston, Texas
September 15
2:00 PM
Quinnipiac
Cooper Field
September 15
4:30 PM
Stephen F. Austin
Houston, Texas
September 15
TBA
Penn
Philadelphia, Pa.
September 15
TBA
Bedford Cup
College Park, Md.
September 16
1:00 PM
Marist
Cooper Field
September 16
7:00 PM
Xavier
Cincinnati, Ohio

BEDN
Watch
September 16
11:00 PM
Rice
Houston, Texas
September 16
TBA
Penn
Philadelphia, Pa.
September 16
TBA
Bedford Cup
College Park, Md.
September 17
1:00 PM
Towson
Baltimore, Md.
September 17
12:00 PM
Towson
Towson, Md.
September 17
TBA
Penn
Philadelphia, Pa.
September 17
TBA
Bedford Cup
College Park, Md.
September 18
All Day
The Memphis Intercollegiate Memphis
Colonial Country Club - Memphis, Tenn.
September 19
All Day
The Memphis Intercollegiate Memphis
Colonial Country Club - Memphis, Tenn.
September 20
4:00 PM
Stony Brook
Shaw Field
September 20
2:00 PM
District of Columbia
Washington, D.C.
September 22
3:30 PM
Blue & Gray Intrasquad Meet
McCarthy Pool
September 22
6:00 PM
Old Dominion
Norfolk, Va.
September 22
8:00 PM
Creighton
Omaha, Neb.
September 22
TBA
Joe Hunt Memorial
Annapolis, Md.
September 22
All Day
Battle at Beantown
Boston, Mass.
September 23
1:00 PM
Columbia
New York, N.Y.
September 23
4:00 PM
DePaul
Chicago, Ill.
September 23
TBA
Joe Hunt Memorial
Annapolis, Md.
September 24
1:00 PM
St. Johns
Shaw Field

BEDN
Watch
September 24
1:00 PM
Providence
Providence, R.I.

BEDN
September 24
1:00 PM
Longwood
Farmville, Va.
September 24
TBA
Joe Hunt Memorial
Annapolis, Md.
September 25
All Day
The Patriot Invitational George Mason
The Chantilly National Golf Club - Chantilly, Va.
September 26
All Day
The Patriot Invitational George Mason
The Chantilly National Golf Club - Chantilly, Va.
September 28
4:00 PM
DePaul
Chicago, Ill.

BEDN
Watch
September 29
2:00 PM
Temple
Cooper Field
September 29
5:00 PM
Potomac Relays diving
McCarthy Pool
September 29
5:00 PM
Potomac Relays swimming
Washington, D.C. (American University)
September 29
6:00 PM
Butler
McDonough Arena
September 29
All Day
Paul Short Run
Bethlehem, Pa.
September 29
All Day
Paul Short Run
Bethlehem, Pa.
September 30
2:00 PM
Harvard
RFK Stadium
September 30
1:00 PM
Marquette
Shaw Field

BEDN
Watch
September 30
1:00 PM
Delaware/St. Francis Pa.
Newark, Del.
September 30
6:00 PM
Xavier
McDonough Arena
October 1
1:00 PM
Seton Hall
Shaw Field
October 1
1:00 PM
LIU Brooklyn
Cooper Field
October 4
7:00 PM
Seton Hall
South Orange, N.J.
October 5
3:00 PM
Creighton
Shaw Field

BEDN
Watch
October 6
3:00 PM
Butler
Shaw Field

BEDN
Watch
October 6
2:00 PM
Liberty
Cooper Field
October 7
1:00 PM
Princeton
Princeton, N.J.
October 7
6:00 PM
Villanova
McDonough Arena
October 8
1:00 PM
Villanova
Villanova, Pa.
October 8
All Day
The Gridiron Classic Notre Dame
The Warren Golf Course - South Bend, Ind.
October 9
1:00 PM
Duke
Shaw Field
October 9
All Day
The Gridiron Classic Notre Dame
The Warren Golf Course - South Bend, Ind.
October 11
7:00 PM
St. Johns
Queens, N.Y.
October 12
TBA
ITA Regionals
Blacksburg, Va.
October 13
7:30 PM
Villanova
Talen Energy Stadium (Chester, Pa.)
October 13
6:00 PM
Providence
Providence, R.I.
October 13
TBA
ITA Regionals
Blacksburg, Va.
October 13
All Day
Wisconsin Invitational
Madison, Wis.
October 14
12:30 PM
Lehigh
Bethlehem, Pa.
October 14
1:00 PM
Towson
McCarthy Pool
October 14
2:00 PM
DePaul
McDonough Arena
October 14
TBA
ITA Regionals
Blacksburg, Va.
October 14
All Day
Pre-National Meet
Louisville, Ky.
October 15
1:00 PM
Providence
Providence, R.I.

BEDN
Watch
October 15
1:00 PM
Lehigh
Bethlehem, Pa.
October 15
2:00 PM
Marquette
McDonough Arena
October 15
TBA
ITA Regionals
Blacksburg, Va.
October 16
All Day
The Georgetown Intercollegiate
Four Streams, Beallsville, Md.
October 17
7:00 PM
Maryland
College Park, Md.
October 17
All Day
The Georgetown Intercollegiate
Four Streams, Beallsville, Md.
October 19
3:00 PM
Marquette
Shaw Field

BEDN
Watch
October 19
TBA
ITA Regionals
Lynchburg, Va.
October 20
TBA
ITA Regionals
Lynchburg, Va.
October 21
2:00 PM
Fordham Parents Weekend
Cooper Field
October 21
1:00 PM
Seton Hall
Shaw Field

BEDN
Watch
October 21
12:00 PM
Uconn
Storrs, Conn.
October 21
7:00 PM
Villanova
Villanova, Pa.
October 21
TBA
ITA Regionals
Lynchburg, Va.
October 22
1:00 PM
Butler
Indianapolis, Ind.

BEDN
Watch
October 22
12:00 PM
Sacred Heart
Fairfield, Conn.
October 22
TBA
ITA Regionals
Lynchburg, Va.
October 22
All Day
The ODU/OBX Intercollegiate Old Dominion
Kilmarlic Golf Club - Powells Point, N.C.
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
Davidson
Davidson, N.C.
October 28
All Day
BIG EAST Championships
Kenosha, Wis.
October 28
All Day
BIG EAST Championships
Kenosha, Wis.
October 29
1:00 PM
La Salle
Cooper Field
October 29
2:00 PM
Butler
Indianapolis, Ind.
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 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
TBA
Jack Kramer Invitational
Palos Verdes, Calif.
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 12
2:00 PM
DePaul
Chicago, Ill.
November 14
7:00 PM
Howard
McDonough Arena
November 16
7:00 PM
Loyola Maryland
Baltimore, Md.