Tuesday Morning Musings

January 24, 2006

No time to bask in the glow of last Saturday's all-time victory on the hardwood at MCI. The dust has barely settled and lots of comparisons have already been shopped since the Hoyas came out on top against the Duke Blue Devils: best win since the national championship victory in '84; first win against a #1-ranked opponent since St. John's in '85; and first win against Duke since 1990.

With more than 50 former hoop players arriving this weekend for a HoF ceremony and dinner reunion celebration, let me suggest a different angle. From the viewpoint of a fan, what previous game in Georgetown history did Saturday's win most feel like? Certainly, none of the above-mentioned games, since we were ranked at the time almost as highly as our opponent. No, last Saturday was about the unbridled exuberance that comes from being a winning David against a losing Goliath.

How about the victory against #2-seeded Maryland in the 1980 NCAA tournament that put us in the Elite Eight or the win against West Virginia in 1975 that catapulted us into the NCAA tournament for the first time in 32 years? Closer, but much of that exhilaration came from the joy of advancing in the new territory of post-season play.

What about any of the nail-biters over the past 27 years against the Orange of Syracuse including the one that started it all: the last game in Manley Fieldhouse? Those thrillers will never be forgotten, but we never faced in those games, the top-ranked team in the nation.

Perhaps the #1 ranking does imbue a game with a significance (at least to the media and to fans) that is disproportionate to its actual context. A mid-year out-of-conference game still only represents a single victory or single loss (okay, hopefully the NCAA selection will take note). Still, in today's world of viral media and highlight clips, it does mean so much in terms of perception.


In 2002, players and coaches of the 1963 team gathered at the Marine Commandant home of teammate Jim Jones '66


So which game is it? All the previously referenced "greatest" contests (and more) have been chronicled on the HoyaSaxa.com site and can be found at this link. While I was present for all the above games, I strongly suspect that the answer was a game I wasn't even around to attend: Georgetown's 69-58 win against #1 Loyola (Ill.) on December 27, 1963. The game was part of the Quaker City Tournament held at Convention Hall in Philadelphia. That Hoya team was coming off a .500 season, but was led by two future GU Hall of Famers in the backcourt, senior captain Jim Christy and sophomore point guard Jim Brown. Yes, it predated the super media and promotions hype of today. But according to all accounts of the emotions felt by Hoyas everywhere following the game: it led to a state of delightful delirium.

Pondering such thoughts last Saturday, I tried to squeeze into a post-game Clyde's, where I bumped into the aforementioned Jim Brown, still sporting a twinkle in his eye, as he exited the establishment. Our eyes met and I mouthed the one-word question I had to ask, "Loyola?" He winked back at me and confirmed, "Loyola."

I'll take that to the bank.




My picks for most interesting contests this coming week:

> Men's Basketball: Seeking to avoid the dreaded letdown, the Hoyas (12-4) travel to South Bend to take on the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame (10-6) tonight at 7:00 pm at the Joyce Convocation Center.

> Women's Basketball: Why not? We almost knocked off Notre Dame. After leaving MCI next Saturday afternoon, there's plenty of time to make it to McDonough for the women's tip-off against Rutgers (13-3) at 3:00 pm. The #9-ranked Scarlet Knights first face the #21-ranked Fighting Irish tonight.

> Track & Field: With the team split among multiple meets, the majority of the T&F performers will compete all next weekend starting Friday in the Penn State National Invitational to be held at the Multi-Sport Facility (hmmm . . . that name sounds familiar) at University Park.

> Women's Tennis: We are right in the midst of the winter sports schedule and it's time for . . . spring sports? The Hoya women netters head down I-95 to Richmond for the VCU 4-1 Invitational at the Thalhimer Tennis Center from Friday through Sunday.

Last week, the Hoya athletic teams posted an overall win-loss record of 3-7. Men's and women's indoor track had multiple top collegiate finishes and qualifying times.




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August 9
4:00 PM
Quinnipiac
Shaw Field
August 11
7:00 PM
Maryland
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August 12
7:00 PM
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Annapolis, Md.
August 15
7:00 PM
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Richmond, Va.
August 18
4:00 PM
West Virginia
Shaw Field
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1:00 PM
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12:00 PM
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August 20
1:00 PM
George Washington
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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 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
2:00 PM
Rider
Cooper Field
September 3
4:00 PM
San Jose State
San Jose, Calif.
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
7:00 PM
UMass-Lowell
Lowell, Mass.
September 9
TBA
Campbell
Buies Creek, N.C.
September 9
7:00 PM
UConn
Storrs, Conn.
September 10
1:00 PM
Rutgers
Shaw Field
September 10
12:00 PM
Holy Cross
Worcester, Mass.
September 15
2:00 PM
Quinnipiac
Cooper Field
September 16
TBA
Marist
Cooper Field
September 16
7:00 PM
Xavier
Cincinnati, Ohio
September 17
1:00 PM
Towson
Baltimore, Md.
September 17
12:00 PM
Towson
Towson, 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