Feb. 12, 2012
The NFC BIG EAST
When last we met (contra the fight song, it hasn’t been so long), I noted the role of the I-95/Northeast Corridor as the traditional backbone of the BIG EAST. If anything, that looks to become even moreso the case in the immediate future, as the pending departures of Pittsburgh and Syracuse eliminate the conference’s two most successful non-I-95 programs (Louisville, with two NCAA titles, might best both of those two, but it is still a relative newcomer to the league).
Zooming in a bit further, we find an extensive history of rivalry and accomplishment tying together teams from Washington, Philadelphia, and New York – Georgetown, Villanova, and St. John’s, respectively. The apotheosis of this legacy is, of course, the 1985 Final Four, the only time in NCAA tournament history when three teams from the same conference made it to the penultimate round. Insofar as Memphis’s status as the fourth semifinalist was subsequently vacated due to use of ineligible players, it would be technically correct to say that this triumvirate comprised an all-BIG EAST Final Four. It is doubtful that we will ever see such an occurrence again in our lifetimes (full disclosure: the 1985 Final Four was not in my lifetime).
The hometowns of these programs are also linked through their collective membership in the NFL’s NFC East division, where the Redskins, Eagles, and Giants have their own long and storied track record of rivalry. Sure, the Redskins technically no longer call DC home, but, then, Villanova is not in Philadelphia proper either. The basketball gods’ sense of irony is on display in the ongoing conference realignment merry-go-round, as in 2013 the “NFC East” grouping of BIG EAST programs will be complete with the addition of Dallas-based Southern Methodist University. How ‘bout them…Mustangs?
We will turn our attention to Villanova – and, eventually, SMU – in due time. For now, the focus is squarely on the Johnnies from Jamaica. It hasn’t been so long since last we met them, either, with a 69-49 Hoya triumph in Madison Square Garden coming less than a month ago, on the 15th of January. The Red Storm rang up a big fat goose egg from behind the arc in that game, going 0-for-10 from three point range and shooting a cover-your-eyes awful 31.5% for the game. St. John’s do-everything freshman forward Moe Harkless fouled out of that game, hacking Georgetown center Henry Sims on consecutive possessions to earn himself a one-way trip to the bench. That was the final dagger for the Johnnies, already overmatched in the face of a 20-point second-half explosion from Hollis Thompson, a 15-point, 8-rebound, 8-assist scoresheet stuff-fest from Jason Clark, and a double-double from freshman phenom Otto Porter.
In truth, though, that game was much closer than the final score indicated. St. John’s led or was tied for much of the first half, and they had pulled to within a three-point margin, at 48-45, at the 6:15 mark of the vesper half.™* The Johnnies also own wins over Cincinnati and West Virginia, two teams that defeated the Hoyas. They stayed within 7 points of Duke in Durham as well. This may be an incredibly young and thoroughly depleted team – Malik Stith, the final returning player from last season’s team, left the team right before the last game – but it remains a dangerous one. Much like the NFC East, where the woeful Redskins twice defeated the Super Bowl champion Giants this season, no game can be taken for granted in the BIG EAST.
A series as longstanding as Georgetown/St. John’s will have inevitably produced its share of memorable moments. In the years that I have been a Hoya fan, however, the Red Storm have largely been stuck in rebuilding mode. What comes to mind when I think of this rivalry is therefore not a pivotal, decisive moment or a #1 vs. #2 national showdown. Instead, it is a moment in the waning seconds of the meeting in January 2008, when hard-working walk-on Bryon Jansen entered the game and drilled a three-pointer under the lights of MSG as time expired. That basket brought a louder cheer than any other from Hoya fans and players alike and even drew a smile from coach John Thompson III. It was a special, feel-good moment. Here’s hoping that something along those lines is in store for the February 12, 2012 collision – preferably also with the Hoyas up double digits.
Dmitriy Zakharov (F’09, G’09)
Proud Member of Generation Jansen
*”Vesper half” is a registered trademark of Hoyas Win! x 20 Incorporated, a Dr. Rich Chvotkin Company.
Georgetown Celebrates 50th Anniversary of...
The Georgetown University football program will celebrate the 50th Anniversary of football's...
Ed McCrossen Named Cleveland Golf/Srixon All-Am...
Ed McCrossen, a 2014 senior on the Georgetown University men's golf team, has been named a 2014...
Southerland and Green Represent USA at 2014...
Georgetown University track & field standouts Sabrina Southerland (New York, N.Y./Benjamin N....
Former Hoyas Continue to Pursue Dreams in NBA...
Four former Georgetown men's basketball players - 2014 graduate Markel Starks, along with 2013...
Adair Speaks at Success Summit
Georgetown University Head Women's Basketball Coach Natasha Adair was one of the featured...
Georgetown Tabs Luke Agnini as Head Men's...
Georgetown University Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Lee Reed announced today that Luke...
BIG EAST in the WNBA: Sugar Rodgers
Sugar Rodgers is in her second WNBA season and first with the New York Liberty. The 2013...
Collins, Hollenbeck Share Unique Experiences in...
Georgetown baseball teammates Matt Hollenbeck (Horsham, Pa./Hatboro-Horsham) and Nick Collins (Ca...
DOWNLOAD SCHEDULE: Add to calendar
Tuesday, Aug 12 Sport Opponent Time Coverage Women's Soccer George Mason (exhibition) 5:00 PM Saturday, Aug 16 Sport Opponent Time Coverage Women's Soccer Penn State (exhibition) 2:00 PM Sunday, Aug 17 Sport Opponent Time Coverage Men's Soccer at Penn State 6:00 PM Tuesday, Aug 19 Sport Opponent Time Coverage Field Hockey at VCU 1:00 PM Friday, Aug 22 Sport Opponent Time Coverage Women's Soccer at San Diego 10:30 PM Saturday, Aug 23 Sport Opponent Time Coverage Men's Soccer at Virginia 7:00 PM Sunday, Aug 24 Sport Opponent Time Coverage Women's Soccer vs Long Beach State 2:30 PM Field Hockey at La Salle 1:00 PM Friday, Aug 29 Sport Opponent Time Coverage Men's Soccer at Indiana 8:00 PM Women's Soccer N.C. State 3:00 PM Field Hockey at Appalachian State 3:00 PM Women's Volleyball at American 7:00 PM Saturday, Aug 30 Sport Opponent Time Coverage Football Wagner 12:00 PM Women's Volleyball at George Mason 1:00 PM Field Hockey at Davidson 2:00 PM Women's Volleyball vs Howard 5:00 PM Sunday, Aug 31 Sport Opponent Time Coverage Men's Soccer vs Notre Dame 11:30 AM Women's Soccer at Towson 1:00 PM Friday, Sept 5 Sport Opponent Time Coverage Men's Soccer Harvard 4:00 PM Women's Soccer at Virginia Tech 7:00 PM Women's Volleyball vs Cleveland State 4:00 PM Saturday, Sept 6 Sport Opponent Time Coverage Football at Dayton 1:00 PM Women's Volleyball vs Colgate 10:30 AM Women's Volleyball at Penn 7:30 PM Men's Golf at The U.S. Naval Academy Invite All Day Sunday, Sept 7 Sport Opponent Time Coverage Men's Soccer Wisconsin 1:00 PM Women's Soccer vs Wake Forest 11:30 AM Field Hockey Lock Haven 12:00 PM Men's Golf at The U.S. Naval Academy Invite All Day Tuesday, Sept 9 Sport Opponent Time Coverage Women's Volleyball Liberty 7:00 PM Thursday, Sept 11 Sport Opponent Time Coverage Men's Soccer VCU 4:00 PM Friday, Sept 12 Sport Opponent Time Coverage Women's Soccer at West Virginia 7:00 PM Saturday, Sept 13 Sport Opponent Time Coverage Football at Marist 6:00 PM Women's Volleyball vs Presbyterian 10:00 AM Field Hockey at Holy Cross 12:00 PM Sunday, Sept 14 Sport Opponent Time Coverage Men's Soccer UC Irvine 1:00 PM Women's Soccer George Washington 4:00 PM Field Hockey at Brown 12:00 PM Women's Volleyball at Hampton University 6:00 PM Tuesday, Sept 16 Sport Opponent Time Coverage Women's Volleyball at George Washington 7:00 PM Wednesday, Sept 17 Sport Opponent Time Coverage Men's Soccer at Princeton 7:00 PM Friday, Sept 19 Sport Opponent Time Coverage Women's Volleyball vs UCLA 7:00 PM Saturday, Sept 20 Sport Opponent Time Coverage Football Brown 12:00 PM Women's Volleyball at Cal State Fullerton 3:30 PM Field Hockey Longwood 6:00 PM Women's Volleyball vs Yale 7:00 PM Sunday, Sept 21 Sport Opponent Time Coverage Men's Soccer William & Mary 4:00 PM Women's Soccer Duquesne 1:00 PM Field Hockey Lehigh 12:00 PM Tuesday, Sept 23 Sport Opponent Time Coverage Women's Volleyball Creighton 7:00 PM Thursday, Sept 25 Sport Opponent Time Coverage Women's Soccer at DePaul 3:00 PM Friday, Sept 26 Sport Opponent Time Coverage Field Hockey at Siena 2:00 PM Women's Volleyball Xavier 7:00 PM Saturday, Sept 27 Sport Opponent Time Coverage Football at Colgate 1:00 PM Men's Soccer at Butler 5:30 PM Sunday, Sept 28 Sport Opponent Time Coverage Women's Soccer at Xavier 1:00 PM Field Hockey at Columbia 1:00 PM Women's Volleyball Butler 2:00 PM
- Online Stores & Tickets