NCAA BK

Syracuse-Georgetown Preview

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One side features names like Thompson, Ewing, Mourning and Iverson and the other has names such as Boeheim, Coleman, Washington and Anthony.

Sadly, there's only time for one more Big East meeting between two of the conference's flagship programs - Georgetown and Syracuse.

The historic matchup takes place in Friday night's tournament semifinals, with the No. 19 Orange looking to avenge two double-digit regular-season defeats to the fifth-ranked Hoyas.

With Syracuse (25-8) headed for the ACC and Georgetown (25-5) moving on to a new basketball-centric Big East, the Madison Square Garden marquee will feature these two programs for the final time as conference rivals.

The Hoyas cruised to a 61-39 home rout in Saturday's regular-season finale, marking the largest margin in this series since a 27-point Georgetown win in 1985 and the lowest point total for the Orange since 1962.

Hoyas great Patrick Ewing attended that contest while Derrick Coleman is among numerous Syracuse legends attending this tournament.

Top-seeded Georgetown advanced with Thursday's 62-43 victory over Cincinnati while No. 5 seed Syracuse has won twice this week, 75-63 over Seton Hall on Wednesday and 62-59 over No. 17 Pittsburgh on Thursday.

"Syracuse, I mean, it will be a great game," Georgetown star Otto Porter Jr. said. "I'm pretty sure they will want a rematch against us. I mean, it will be a terrific game to play against them."

Orange guard Brandon Triche was a freshman when his team swept the Hoyas in the regular season in 2009-10 before top-seeded Syracuse lost to eighth-seeded Georgetown in the conference tournament.

"I want it a lot," Triche said. "Them beating us twice, not too many teams have done that. I remember beating them twice, and the third time they beat us. That was in the Big East tournament. We're trying to pretty much return the favor."

Porter, the Big East player of the year, was spectacular with a career-high 33 points in a 57-46 victory at Syracuse on Feb. 23. The Orange shot 34.0 percent in that contest.

Georgetown was even stingier last weekend, limiting Syracuse to a season-low 31.9 percent. Porter finished with 10 points, eight rebounds and seven assists and Hoyas guard Markel Starks scored a game-high 19.

James Southerland endured one of the worst games of his career as he missed all eight shots and scored one point. The Hoyas could see a revitalized Southerland, with the senior forward scoring 20 points in each game in this tournament while shooting 12 of 15 from 3-point range.

Syracuse has made 21 3-pointers in its last two games after hitting 5 of 31 in the two meetings with Georgetown.

"We just didn't play well in either game," coach Jim Boeheim said. "They're too good. If you don't play well, they're going to beat you. Should be a great game."

Porter scored a game-high 18 points Thursday - going 11 for 11 on free throws - as the Hoyas won for the 13th time in 14 games. Freshman reserve D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera had 13 points, reaching double figures in a third straight game for the first time.

The Hoyas hold a 7-6 series lead in tournament meetings, with their 91-84 victory in the 2010 quarterfinals the most recent one.

Tagged: Syracuse, Georgetown

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