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


More Headlines
Daphne Corboz Called Into French National Team Camp Former Georgetown women’s soccer player Daphne Corboz (C’15) has ... Christopher Kinney ('11) Named to 2018 U.S. Olympic Men's... Former Hoya and track & field All-American Christopher Kinney (’11) was... Georgetown Track & Field Opens 2018 Indoor Season at... The Georgetown University track & field team opened the 2018 portion of the... Fourth Quarter Comeback Falls Short at Seton Hall A fourth-quarter comeback was not enough as the Georgetown University women&#...
Shop Now
Auctions

Schedules

January 17
6:30 PM
Villanova
Capital One Arena

FS1
106.7 WJFK-FM
January 19
7:00 PM
Marquette
McDonough Arena

BEDN
Watch
January 19
TBA
VCU 41
Richmond, Va.
January 20
12:00 PM
St. Johns
Capital One Arena

FS1
99.1 WNEW-FM
January 20
1:00 PM
Drexel
McCarthy Pool
January 20
TBA
VCU 41
Richmond, Va.
January 21
2:00 PM
Depaul
McDonough Arena

CBSsn
January 24
8:30 PM
DePaul
Capital One Arena

FS1
106.7 WJFK-FM
January 26
7:00 PM
Butler
Indianapolis, Ind.

BEDN
January 26
All Day
Columbia Challenge
New York, N.Y.
January 26
All Day
Columbia Challenge
New York, N.Y.
January 27
8:00 PM
Creighton
Omaha, Neb.

CBSSN
99.1 WNEW-FM
January 27
1:00 PM
Maryland
College Park, Md.
January 27
All Day
Columbia Challenge
New York, N.Y.
January 27
All Day
Columbia Challenge
New York, N.Y.
January 28
2:00 PM
Xavier
Cincinnati, Ohio

FS2
February 2
6:00 PM
Drexel
Philadelphia, Pa.
February 2
All Day
BU Scarlet & White Invite
Boston, Mass.
February 2
All Day
BU Scarlet & White Invite
Boston, Mass.
February 3
6:00 PM
Xavier
Cincinnati, Ohio

CBSSN
99.1 WNEW-FM
February 3
1:00 PM
Villanova
Villanova, Pa.

BEDN
Watch
February 3
12:00 PM
UMBC
Catonsville, Md.
February 3
2:00 PM
Seton Hall/Providence
Berkeley (N.J.) Aquatic Club
February 3
All Day
Villanova Invitational
Staten Island, N.Y.
February 3
All Day
BU Scarlet & White Invite
Boston, Mass.
February 3
All Day
Villanova Invitational
Staten Island, N.Y.
February 3
All Day
BU Scarlet & White Invite
Boston, Mass.
February 4
TBA
Penn
Philadelphia, Pa.
February 4
TBA
Temple
Washington, D.C.
February 6
8:30 PM
Providence
Providence, R.I.

FS1
99.1 WNEW-FM
February 9
2:00 PM
Seton Hall
McDonough Arena

BEDN
February 9
All Day
BU David Hemery Valentine Invite
Boston, Mass.
February 9
All Day
BU David Hemery Valentine Invite
Boston, Mass.
February 9
All Day
Iowa State Classic
Ames, Iowa
February 9
TBA
Monmouth N.J.
Washington, D.C.
February 9
All Day
Iowa State Classic
Ames, Iowa
February 10
4:00 PM
Seton Hall
Capital One Arena

CBSSN
106.7 WJFK-FM
February 10
3:00 PM
Saint Josephs
Cooper Field
February 10
All Day
Iowa State Classic
Ames, Iowa
February 10
All Day
Iowa State Classic
Ames, Iowa
February 10
All Day
BU David Hemery Valentine Invite
Boston, Mass.
February 10
All Day
BU David Hemery Valentine Invite
Boston, Mass.
February 11
2:00 PM
St. Johns
McDonough Arena

BEDN
February 13
6:30 PM
Butler
Indianapolis, Ind.

CBSSN
99.1 WNEW-FM
February 13
12:00 PM
Towson
Arlington, Va.
February 13
3:00 PM
High Point
Cooper Field
February 16
8:00 PM
DePaul
Chicago, Ill.

BEDN
Watch
February 16
4:00 PM
Wake Forest
Winston-Salem, N.C.
February 17
12:00 PM
Gardner-Webb
Winston-Salem, N.C.
February 17
1:00 PM
Robert Morris
Moon Township, Pa.
February 17
3:00 PM
Towson
Towson, Md.
February 17
All Day
JDL Fast Track Last Chance Meet
Winston-Salem, N.C.
February 17
All Day
Alex Wilson Invitational
Notre Dame, Ind.
February 17
All Day
Alex Wilson Invitational
Notre Dame, Ind.
February 17
All Day
JDL Fast Track Last Chance Meet
Winston-Salem, N.C.
February 18
3:00 PM
Marquette
Milwaukee, Wis.

BEDN
Watch
February 18
10:00 AM
Navy
Winston-Salem, N.C.
February 21
6:30 PM
Xavier
Capital One Arena

FS1/FSN
99.1 WNEW-FM
February 21
10:00 AM
Day 1
Geneva, Ohio
February 22
10:00 AM
Day 2
Geneva, Ohio
February 23
11:00 AM
Creighton
McDonough Arena

BEDN
February 23
6:00 PM
Davidson
Davidson, N.C.
February 23
10:00 AM
Day 3
Geneva, Ohio
February 23
All Day
BIG EAST Indoor Track & Field Championships
Staten Island, N.Y.
February 23
TBA
Xavier
Cincinnati, Ohio
February 23
TBA
Xavier
Cincinnati, Ohio
February 23
All Day
BIG EAST Indoor Track & Field Championships
Staten Island, N.Y.
February 24
12:00 PM
Providence
Capital One Arena

CBSSN
99.1 WNEW-FM
February 24
2:00 PM
Davidson
Davidson, N.C.
February 24
10:00 AM
Day 4
Geneva, Ohio
February 24
12:00 PM
Drexel
Philadelphia, Pa.
February 24
12:00 PM
Towson
Towson, Md.
February 24
All Day
BIG EAST Indoor Track & Field Championships
Staten Island, N.Y.
February 24
All Day
BIG EAST Indoor Track & Field Championships
Staten Island, N.Y.
February 25
2:00 PM
Providence
McDonough Arena

BEDN
Watch
February 25
1:00 PM
Davidson
Davidson, N.C.
February 25
11:00 AM
William & Mary
Williamsburg, Va.
February 26
7:00 PM
Marquette
Capital One Arena

FS1
99.1 WNEW-FM
February 27
2:30 PM
George Washington
Arlington, Va.
February 27
3:00 PM
Mount St. Marys
Cooper Field
February 28
3:30 PM
Johns Hopkins
Cooper Field
March 3
TBA
Villanova
Philadelphia, Pa.

FOX
TBD
March 3
3:00 PM
Mount St. Marys
Port Charlotte, Fla.
March 3
1:00 PM
Hofstra
Hempstead, N.Y.
March 3
1:00 PM
Delaware
Cooper Field
March 3
All Day
ECAC Indoor Track & Field Championships
Boston, Mass.
March 3
All Day
IC4A Indoor Track & Field Championships
Boston, Mass.
March 4
11:30 AM
Dartmouth
Port Charlotte, Fla.
March 4
12:00 PM
Nova Southeastern
Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
March 4
All Day
IC4A Indoor Track & Field Championships
Boston, Mass.
March 4
All Day
ECAC Indoor Track & Field Championships
Boston, Mass.
March 5
TBA
Florida Atlantic
Boca Raton, Fla.
March 5
TBA
Florida Atlantic
Boca Raton, Fla.
March 6
4:00 PM
Northeastern
Port Charlotte, Fla.
March 6
3:00 PM
Marist
Cooper Field
March 6
TBA
Lynn University
Boca Raton, Fla.
March 7
12:00 PM
Western Michigan
Port Charlotte, Fla.
March 8
10:00 AM
Barry
Miami Shores, Fla.
March 8
12:00 PM
Barry
Miami Shores, Fla.
March 9
12:00 PM
Western Michigan
Port Charlotte, Fla.
March 9
All Day
NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships
College Station, Texas
March 9
All Day
NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships
College Station, Texas
March 10
2:00 PM
Saint Josephs
Port Charlotte, Fla.
March 10
12:00 PM
Hobart
Cooper Field
March 10
3:00 PM
Penn
Cooper Field
March 10
All Day
NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships
College Station, Texas
March 10
All Day
Virginia Scrimmage
Charlottesville, Va.
March 10
All Day
NCAA Indoor Track & Field Championships
College Station, Texas
March 10
All Day
Virginia Scrimmage
Charlottesville, Va.
March 11
12:00 PM
Saint Josephs
Port Charlotte, Fla.
March 14
3:00 PM
Coppin State
Shirley Povich Field
March 16
3:00 PM
Princeton
Shirley Povich Field
March 16
3:00 PM
Old Dominion
Norfolk, Va.
March 17
1:00 PM
Princeton
Shirley Povich Field
March 17
4:00 PM
Princeton
Shirley Povich Field
March 17
10:00 AM
Middle Tennessee State
Norfolk, Va.
March 17
1:00 PM
Villanova
Cooper Field
March 17
1:00 PM
Drexel
Philadelphia, Pa.
March 17
TBA
Temple
Washington, D.C.
March 18
1:00 PM
Princeton
Shirley Povich Field
March 21
4:00 PM
Navy
Shirley Povich Field
March 21
3:00 PM
Loyola Maryland
Cooper Field
March 21
7:00 PM
Loyola Maryland
Cooper Field
March 23
5:00 PM
Ohio State
Columbus, Ohio
March 23
11:00 AM
Marquette
Washington, D.C.
March 23
TBA
Rhode Island
Washington, D.C.
March 24
3:00 PM
Ohio State
Columbus, Ohio
March 24
11:00 AM
Navy
Annapolis, Md.
March 24
12:00 PM
Florida
Cooper Field
March 24
1:00 PM
Marquette
Milwaukee, Wis.
March 24
2:00 PM
Boston University
Washington, D.C.
March 24
All Day
Princeton
Princeton, N.J.
March 24
All Day
Delaware
Washington, D.C.
March 25
1:00 PM
Ohio State
Columbus, Ohio
March 25
All Day
Princeton
Washington, D.C.
March 27
3:00 PM
Delaware State
Shirley Povich Field
March 28
2:30 PM
Richmond
Richmond, Va.
March 28
7:00 PM
Maryland
College Park, Md.
March 29
6:00 PM
UNC Greensboro
Greensboro, N.C.
March 30
4:00 PM
UNC Greensboro
Greensboro, N.C.
March 31
1:00 PM
UNC Greensboro
Greensboro, N.C.
March 31
12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Cincinnati, Ohio
March 31
12:00 PM
Denver
Cooper Field
March 31
TBA
Navy
Annapolis, Md.
April 3
3:00 PM
Coppin State
Hanover, Md.
April 4
3:00 PM
Maryland Eastern Shore
Princess Anne, Md.
April 4
11:00 AM
St. Francis Brooklyn
Washington, D.C.
April 4
2:00 PM
Denver
Denver, Colo.
April 6
3:00 PM
Xavier
Shirley Povich Field
April 6
3:00 PM
George Washington
GW Tennis Center
April 6
All Day
GW Invite
Washington, D.C.
April 7
1:00 PM
Xavier
Shirley Povich Field
April 7
12:00 PM
Butler
Cooper Field
April 7
3:00 PM
Providence
Cooper Field
April 7
All Day
Yale & MIT
Cambridge, Mass.
April 7
All Day
GW Invite
Washington, D.C.
April 8
1:00 PM
Xavier
Shirley Povich Field
April 8
All Day
Harvard & Columbia
Cambridge, Mass.
April 11
3:00 PM
Navy
Annapolis, Md.
April 13
3:00 PM
George Mason
Shirley Povich Field
April 14
2:00 PM
George Mason
Shirley Povich Field
April 14
1:00 PM
Villanova
Villanova, Pa.
April 14
2:00 PM
Vanderbilt
Nashville, Tenn.
April 14
TBA
George Washington
Washington, D.C.
April 14
All Day
Navy
Annapolis, Md.
April 14
All Day
Stanford
Redwood Shores, Calif.
April 15
1:00 PM
George Mason
Fairfax, Va.