You can argue other teams rivalries as being bigger or better all you want, you can say there are other Big East rivalries all you want, nothing gets the blood boiling like a Syracuse/Georgetown basketball game. This is true on both sides; in the locker rooms, in the stands, heated, hated, passionate, everything that makes this one of the grandest in all of sports.
The teams can’t seem to get out of each others way and the Big East should forever be grateful for it. Syracuse owns the all time record (47-39) and the Big East record (36-33), but it’s more than just that. Syracuse fans look at the Hoyas as menacing bullies, dirty players, and rude obnoxious fans along with over the top coaches. Guess what Syracuse? The Hoya nation says the same thing about you.
So what is it then? The way John Thompson brashly proclaimed that Manley Field House is officially closed after Syracuse’s final game loss there before moving to The Dome? Syracuse had won 57 in a row prior to that game. Or was it that the teams were Top-3 every year in conference, combined for five regular season crowns (sharing one) and five tournament titles from 1984-1990? Oh, and Georgetown won all three tourney title match-ups head-to-head. Is it that they both have nine regular season titles and twelve combined tournament championships? (Hoyas-7, ‘Cuse-5)
Sure! All of that. But, it was the passion on the court and the sidelines. The teams have always gone at each other like Ali-Frasier, holding nothing back and giving no quarter. Thompson needling Boeheim, Boeheim throwing chairs, Pearl Washington and Patrick Ewing brawling on the court; passion.
Look at some of the players these two have thrown at each other:
- Eric Floyd, Patrick Ewing, David Wingate, Reggie Williams, Alonzo Mourning and Dikembe Mutombo, Michael Tate, Mark Tillmon, Othella Harrington, Jerome Williams, Allen Iverson, Greg Monroe, and Austin Freeman.
- Pearl Washington, Eddie Moss, Leo and Andy Rautins, Erich Santifer, Wendell Alexis, Rafael Addison, Howard and Brandon Triche, Sherman Douglas, Derrick Coleman, Billy Owens, Rony Seikaly, Dave Johnson, Mike Hopkins, Hakim Warrick, Carmelo Anthony.
You get the idea; an abundance of talented players on both sides and some of the greatest college players in history. So is this year any different? Of course not. Syracuse is in first and Georgetown needs to go through them. Yet again, they can’t seem to get out of each others way.
Both teams are winning, both teams are highly ranked, and both have realistic final four aspirations. With all due respect to what used to be the Big East and the upcoming new beast (for Syracuse) that is the ACC; this is a game that needs to stay no matter what. Syracuse-Georgetown with over 35,000 in the Dome. It just doesn’t get any better than this.