Oh What A Night!

March 7, 2007

On the eve of attending my 25th consecutive Big East tournament at Madison Square Garden, I am sitting just across 7th Avenue, alone with my thoughts.

Still somewhat giddy from the magnitude and success of the recent 100th anniversary basketball weekend, I have not yet removed from my sport coat the staff tag issued for the Marquette game. C'mon, it was our centennial anniversary basketball game. I'll take it off when the curtain closes on the season -- hopefully four weeks from now. I don't care how silly it looks hanging off my blazer as I wander through the aisles of the Garden all week.

Last week, I hitched a ride on the plane with the hoop team to Syracuse. It was a homecoming of sorts. My family lived for many years in one of its suburban communities. My parents met while going to school there. I grew up rooting for the Orange -- still do when their opponent is not Georgetown. SU's greatest-ever coach, Roy D. Simmons, coached my father to the eastern collegiate heavyweight boxing title and later gave me my first lacrosse stick. Jim Brown, Ernie Davis and Floyd Little were among my boyhood heroes.

Crouse College: a Healy-esque landmark on the SU campus

An SU student landmark: the Varsity

Central NY Hoya basketball alums Bob Moses '58 and Denny Owen '51

Syracuse is home to one of my closest friends and teammate from Georgetown, Nick Midey '72, now the senior judge on the New York State Court of Claims. I spent my college summers there. I played lacrosse there. I studied for the bar exam there. I even enrolled for a year in the MBA program at Syracuse University. My early mentor as a Georgetown alumnus, Denny Owen '51, lives nearby. It's true, I go way back with the city of Syracuse and my roots there run deep.

In 1978, I watched future NFL stars Joe Morris and Art Monk put on a show in a Syracuse upset of the Naval Academy at the last football game ever played in venerable Archbold Stadium. That old concrete bowl was opened in 1907 with a gift of $600,000 from SU trustee and Standard Oil tycoon, John Archbold (whose daughter later built Hillandale and donated part of her land to establish Glover Archbold Park). This modern day coliseum subsequently gave way to a new facility, the Carrier Dome, home for Orange football, basketball, track and lacrosse teams.

And that brings me to the real reason I returned to Syracuse last week. In this year of the basketball centennial, I wanted to revisit Manley Field House -- just to remember. You see, I was there that January night 27 years ago, the night that the Hoyas took part in the last game the Orangemen played in Manley. For the entire week leading up to the game, the local papers speculated only on the margin of victory by the #3-ranked Orangemen, the outcome a foregone conclusion. Who could blame them? Half a generation had grown up without witnessing a defeat in the building. The Manley chapter of Syracuse basketball history would surely close with a resounding victory. The Hoyas, however, had an alternative outcome in mind: down 14 points at halftime, the Blue and Gray clawed their way back into the game and took the lead in the waning seconds for the first time in the contest for a 52-50 win. The exclamation point came with Coach John Thompson's post-game press conference declaration: "Manley Field House is officially closed!"

Manley Field House in the dead of winter

Inside Manley with seating retracted

Athletic administration and coaching offices are housed in the Roy D. Simmons Coaches Center connected to Manley

It was a defining moment, for Georgetown, for Hoya basketball, for the new Big East Conference, and yes, for Syracuse too. The biggest rivalry in eastern basketball was born that night and since then, the two schools have battled each other 75 times including eight overtime games. The Hoyas have won 36, the Orange 39. They have each won eight Big East regular season championships. Georgetown has captured six Big East tourney titles, Syracuse five. The Hoyas have played in 19 NCAA tournaments, the Orange in 22. Each school been to the NCAA championship game three times and each has captured one national championship. The teams could yet meet again in this year's Big East tournament.

Finally, that victory affected me in a real way as well. Throughout the 70's, when I would come home to central New York from Georgetown and tell neighbors where I went to school, the unknowing ones would ask "where is that?" The (seemingly) knowing ones would reply that they were not aware there was a school at that farming crossroads some 35 miles south of Syracuse - a pin prick on the map labeled Georgetown.

All this changed that one night in January. Thereafter, I would tell any Syracusan, without further explanation, that I had graduated from Georgetown.

And every one of them knew exactly where I had gone to school.



The SU hoop team now plays in front of a sea of orange inside the Dome, now dubbed the "loud-house"

Plans for the future: a new basketball practice facility


RETURN to VFTH Home


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October 22
T, 0-0 (2OT)
Butler
Indianapolis, Ind.
RECAP

BEDN
Watch
October 22
9:30 AM
Richmond
Cooper Field
October 22
11:30 AM
Elon
Cooper Field
October 22
W, 3-2
Sacred Heart
Fairfield, Conn.
RECAP

Live Stats
October 22
2:30 PM
Virginia Tech
Cooper Field
October 22
TBA
ITA Regionals
Lynchburg, Va.
October 22
All Day
MAISA Womens Championships
Bronx, N.Y.
October 22
All Day
Kings Point Dinghy Open
Kings Point, N.Y.
October 22
All Day
Head of the Charles HW/LW
Boston, Mass.

Results
Championship 4+ - 1:16 p.m. Lightweight 4+ - 1:16 p.m. Lightweight 8+ - 1:48 p.m.
October 22
14th of 18
The ODU/OBX Intercollegiate Old Dominion
Kilmarlic Golf Club - Powells Point, N.C.
RECAP

Live Scoring
October 22
All Day
Head of the Charles
Boston, Mass.

Results
Lightweight 4+ - 1:30 p.m.
October 23
All Day
The ODU/OBX Intercollegiate Old Dominion
Kilmarlic Golf Club - Powells Point, N.C.

Live Scoring
October 24
All Day
The ODU/OBX Intercollegiate Old Dominion
Kilmarlic Golf Club - Powells Point, N.C.

Live Scoring
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
James Madison
Cooper Field
October 28
12:00 PM
Davidson
Davidson, N.C.
October 28
1:00 PM
Maryland
Cooper Field
October 28
3:00 PM
Stony Brook
Cooper Field
October 28
All Day
Head of the Schuylkill LW only
Philadelphia, Pa.
October 28
All Day
BIG EAST Championships
Kenosha, Wis.
October 28
All Day
BIG EAST Championships
Kenosha, Wis.
October 28
All Day
War Memorial Regatta
Geneva, N.Y.
October 29
1:00 PM
La Salle
Cooper Field
October 29
2:00 PM
Butler
Indianapolis, Ind.
October 29
All Day
War Memorial Regatta
Geneva, N.Y.
October 29
All Day
Princeton Chase
Princeton, N.J.
October 29
All Day
Princeton Chase HW/LW
Princeton, N.J.
October 30
All Day
USF Intercollegiate
TPC Tampa, Tampa, Fla.
October 31
All Day
USF Intercollegiate
TPC Tampa, Tampa, Fla.
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 3
All Day
ICSA Mens and Womens Singlehanded National Championships
Tampa, Fla.
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
All Day
ICSA Mens and Womens Singlehanded National Championships
Tampa, Fla.
November 4
All Day
Head of the Occoquan HW/LW
Fairfax Station, Va.
November 4
TBA
Jack Kramer Invitational
Palos Verdes, Calif.
November 4
All Day
Head of the Occoquan
Fairfax Station, Va.
November 5
All Day
ICSA Mens and Womens Singlehanded National Championships
Tampa, Fla.
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 11
All Day
Coed Atlantic Coast Championships
Bronx, N.Y.
November 11
All Day
ICSA Match Racing National Championships
Charleston, S.C.
November 11
All Day
Womens Atlantic Coast Championships
New London, Conn.
November 12
12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Capital One Arena

FSN
TBD
November 12
2:00 PM
DePaul
Chicago, Ill.
November 12
All Day
ICSA Match Racing National Championships
Charleston, S.C.
November 12
All Day
Coed Atlantic Coast Championships
Bronx, N.Y.
November 12
All Day
Womens Atlantic Coast Championships
New London, Conn.
November 14
7:00 PM
Howard
McDonough Arena
November 15
7:00 PM
Mount St. Marys
Capital One Arena

FS2
TBD
November 16
7:00 PM
Loyola Maryland
Baltimore, Md.
November 17
10:00 AM
Bucknell Invite
Lewisburg, Pa.
November 17
6:00 PM
Providence
McDonough Arena

BEDN
November 18
1:00 PM
Colgate Senior Day
Cooper Field
November 18
12:00 PM
UMES
Capital One Arena

FSN
TBD
November 18
10:00 AM
Bucknell Invite
Lewisburg, Pa.
November 18
6:00 PM
Creighton
McDonough Arena
November 18
All Day
IC4A Championships
New York, N.Y.
November 18
All Day
NCAA Championships
Louisville, Ky.
November 18
All Day
NCAA Championships
Louisville, Ky.
November 18
All Day
ECAC Championships
New York, N.Y.
November 19
2:00 PM
George Washington
Washington, D.C.
November 19
10:00 AM
Bucknell Invite
Lewisburg, Pa.
November 24
8:30 PM
Auburn
Nashville, Tenn.
November 25
6:00 PM
Richmond
Richmond, Va.

TBD
TBD
November 25
8:30 PM
Chattanooga
Nashville, Tenn.
November 26
3:00 PM
Northwestern
Nashville, Tenn.
November 28
8:30 PM
Maine
Capital One Arena

FS1/FS2
TBD
November 29
7:00 PM
Florida International
McDonough Arena
December 3
6:30 PM
Coppin State
Capital One Arena

FS1
TBD
December 7
8:30 PM
Howard
Capital One Arena

FS1
TBD
December 7
7:00 PM
Minnesota
McDonough Arena
December 9
2:30 PM
North Carolina A&T
Capital One Arena

FS2
TBD
December 10
2:00 PM
North Carolina State
Raleigh, N.C.
December 16
12:30 PM
Syracuse
Capital One Arena

CBS
TBD
December 20
7:00 PM
North Texas
Capital One Arena

FS2
TBD
December 21
6:00 PM
VCU
Richmond, Va.
December 23
12:00 PM
Alabama A&M
Capital One Arena

FS1
TBD
December 27
6:30 PM
Butler
Capital One Arena

FS1
TBD
December 28
7:00 PM
Providence
Providence, R.I.

BEDN
Watch
December 30
4:30 PM
Marquette
Milwaukee, Wis.

FS1
TBD
December 30
2:00 PM
Creighton
Omaha, Neb.

BEDN
January 2
9:00 PM
DePaul
Chicago, Ill.

FS1
TBD
January 2
2:00 PM
Xavier
McDonough Arena

BEDN
January 5
7:00 PM
Butler
McDonough Arena

BEDN
January 6
12:00 PM
Creighton
Capital One Arena

FSN
TBD
January 6
All Day
Rose Bowl Regatta
Los Angeles, Calif.
January 7
All Day
Rose Bowl Regatta
Los Angeles, Calif.
January 9
6:30 PM
St. Johns
New York, N.Y.

FS1
TBD
January 10
7:00 PM
Villanova
McDonough Arena

BEDN
Watch
January 12
7:00 PM
St. Johns
Queens, N.Y.

BEDN
January 13
12:00 PM
Seton Hall
Newark, N.J.

FS1
TBD
January 13
1:00 PM
American/George Washington
Washington, D.C. (American University)
January 14
1:00 PM
Seton Hall
South Orange, N.J.

BEDN
January 17
6:30 PM
Villanova
Capital One Arena

FS1
TBD
January 19
7:00 PM
Marquette
McDonough Arena

BEDN
Watch
January 20
12:00 PM
St. Johns
Capital One Arena

FS1
TBD
January 20
1:00 PM
Drexel
McCarthy Pool
January 21
2:00 PM
Depaul
McDonough Arena

CBSsn