The NFC Big East

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.

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Schedules

August 18
4:00 PM
West Virginia
Shaw Field

Fox Sports Go
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