Still catching up on blog notes after a long sports weekend out of town. We are entering a cross-over time of year to yet another athletic season: spring. With all the winter teams in action and nine of 14 spring teams suiting up, there is little time for respite. For Hoya fans, it provides a wonderful buffet of sports action. One downside is having to choose what events to attend and what to miss. Narrowing the list below of most interesting contests has gotten incredibly harder of late.
Say it ain't so! JoLo(nardo) reports that after 15 or more years of attending the GU-SU home basketball game, the days of seeing Jim Boeheim's cardboard face behind the scorers' table giving the business to Coach Boeheim, are over. It's true, the Boeheim mask has been retired. Thanks, Joe, for so many good years of courtside mimicry.
Joe Lonardo `69 and Art Murphy '69 with coaching pal on a stick
BIG EAST basketball tournament tickets are looking tighter than ever. Back in the day, Georgetown would get over 2,700 sets of tickets to sell to its loyal fans. This year, it will be less than 500. What happened? Well, conference membership has grown to 16 schools, all of which are entitled to an equal number of tickets. In addition, corporate marketing of the conference has exploded, requiring a huge cut for BIG EAST sponsors. I have to believe that ticket brokers will reap the benefits of all these reallocations as those with little school loyalty or without their team in the tournament will dump their tickets for cash.
Also back in the day when playing in the NCAA tournament was nearly automatic, good planning required scoping out possible first-round sites for possible Hoya support and local knowledge. So, without jinxing ourselves by looking too far ahead, here are the possibilities for 2006:
Jacksonville, Fla. -- Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena
Salt Lake City, Utah -- Jon M. Huntsman Center
San Diego, Calif. -- Cox Arena
FRIDAY & SUNDAY, MARCH 17 & 19, 2006
Dayton, Ohio -- University of Dayton Arena
Philadelphia, Penn. -- Wachovia Center
Dallas, Texas -- American Airlines Center
Auburn Hills, Mich. -- Palace of Auburn Hills
Thirty years ago, the men's lacrosse team was in the midst of a four-year swoon that produced a combined record of 2-30, with both victories coming in 1976. Women's lacrosse was brand new and struggling to fill their roster. My, how times have changed! On Saturday, these two national contenders kick-off their seasons against Maryland and Mt. St. Mary's respectively. The women's game ought to be a tune-up for one of the toughest schedules in the nation. The men's game picks up the competition against the Terps that ended the Hoyas tournament run in the NCAA quarterfinals last May.
With the start time of the men's game recently set back to 2 pm, a flood of Hoyas are planning to make it a doubleheader with `Cuse at noon at MCI and a dash back to campus for the lax game. Easily the top game of the weekend nationwide, the crowd will be further swelled by the lack of local high school and youth lacrosse contests which won't begin for several weeks. Might just turn out to be a tougher ticket than the hoop game which appears to be a sell-out.
Former attackman (#28) Jeff Mullen `91 and company are coming to town to double up on the big Hoya twin bill.
My picks for most interesting contests this coming week:
> Men's Lacrosse: THE rematch: in the season opener for the laxmen, they face cross-town nemesis and #4-ranked Maryland (0-0), who squeaked past the #6-ranked Hoyas (0-0) into the final four last May. For those returning to the campus Yard from the Syracuse hoop game at MCI Center, expect to find a near sell-out to local young fans who will turn out in droves for the biggest lacrosse attraction in the country on Saturday at 2:00 pm.
> Men's Basketball: This game is already a sell-out as the Syracuse Orange (19-8) come to town looking to bolster their conference and post-season standings. The tip-off is Saturday at noon. When these two team meet, you can expect the unexpected. The #23-ranked Hoyas (17-7) first meet Rutgers at home on Wednesday evening.
> Women's Basketball: As long as we got all the big rivalry trains running, let's add the contest at Villanova to the mix. The Wildcats (15-9) first face Seton Hall at home on Thursday before meeting the Hoyas (10-15) at the Pavilion at 2:00 pm on Saturday.
> Baseball: Now let's sprinkle in a little Jesuit competition as the Hoya diamond nine opens at home with a three-game series against the Hawks of St. Joseph's (0-3). Georgetown (1-3) will play two on Saturday at 1:00 pm and one on Sunday at the same start time at Shirley Povich Field in Bethesda.
Last week, the Hoya athletic teams posted an overall win-loss record of 1-6 and earned a 2nd, a 7th, two 11th, and a 12th place finishes in standings competition.