NCAA BK

Rivalry alive as Orange oust Hoyas

LAST HURRAH
C.J. Fair and Syracuse win in OT to reach the Big East tournament final vs. Louisville.
Share This Story

Reid Forgrave

Reid Forgrave has worked for the Des Moines Register, the Cincinnati Enquirer and the Seattle Times. His work has been recognized by Associated Press Sports Editors, the Livingston Awards for Young Journalists and the Society for Features Journalism. Follow him on Twitter.

MORE>>
 
   
 

NEW YORK CITY

In every way possible, the final conference matchup between the two beasts of the old Big East was as storybook as could be.

CBK

FOX BRACKET CHALLENGE

The tournament has kicked off.
Click here to check on the status of your bracket.

First, the setting: an electric Madison Square Garden, the most famous arena in the world. Then the revered alumni: Georgetown’s Patrick Ewing squeezing into a tiny chair on one end of the arena near the Hoyas bench, Syracuse’s Derrick Coleman standing and hollering and fist-pumping near the Orange bench.

Then, of course, the game itself: physical, defensive-minded Big East basketball, a game in which each team’s star player — Otto Porter for the Hoyas, Michael Carter-Williams for the Orange — was neutralized by smothering defense on the perimeter and in the paint, and where the role players had outsized influence.

And finally, the ending: overtime.

Of course it went into overtime. Try as they may, this perfectly dysfunctional pairing may never be able to quit each other.

How's this for must-see TV: Even as a TMZ report that Lil Wayne was in a coma and near death rocked the Internet on Friday, the president of his record label assured us that the rapper was OK by tweeting that super hoops fan Wayne was — what else? — watching the Syracuse game.

After all this — Georgetown battling back from 11 down to tie it on two Porter free throws with 7 seconds left ... the most unlikely of Syracuse heroes, offensively challenged big man Baye Keita, making seven free throws and a key tip-in in overtime ... fans who dropped more than $300 for nosebleed seats being treated to one of the best Big East games in history, a 58-55 Syracuse victory — we humbly ask:

Can these two teams keep playing against each other? Like, forever?

bracket

DON'T BELIEVE THE HYPE

Reports of Lil Wayne's health scare may be exaggerated, but they had athletes abuzz on Twitter.

They won’t, unless a few geniuses at each school decide to do something crazy and schedule annual non-conference matchups in November. Syracuse is heading to the ACC. Georgetown is heading to the new version of the Big East. So Friday night was the end.

But boy, if you’re gonna go out, this is how you do it.

“I’m happy I’m a senior,” said Syracuse guard Brandon Triche, whose 13 points tied for the team high. “I’m glad I’m not in the ACC and have to play in Greensboro. It’s awesome, just to go out here, get to the championship. I’ve never done that.”

He was asked what seemed like a silly question: What is a bigger deal, beating Georgetown on Friday night or hoisting the Big East tournament trophy the next night?

His answer goes to the heart of what this rivalry means:

“Beating Georgetown probably outweighs that," Triche said. "You’d kind of think we won the championship after we beat Georgetown. And bigger than the rivalry, they beat us by 20 points last time. That means something. That hurts. So when you’re able to beat a team that beat you by 20, pretty much beat you down the whole season, the feeling is unheard of.”

Syracuse looked to be close to running away with it for much of the first 30 minutes, turning the tables after Georgetown’s 22-point blowout of Syracuse a week ago. James Southerland was raining in the 3's, his fourth of the night tying the tournament record for most made in one tourney (16). Porter, whom Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim called the best all-around player he’s seen in three decades of the Big East, scored and was fouled on Georgetown's first possession — and then had only nine points in the next 39 minutes, as Syracuse harassed him with help defense.

bracket

WEEZY'S WORLD

When it comes to hoops fans, they don't come any bigger than Lil Wayne.

But Georgetown grinded, grinded, grinded, and the 11-point lead with 11 minutes left turned into a tie game at the end of regulation after Porter’s ice-cold free throws. The possible blowout had become a classic, a reminder of one more thing that this football-driven realignment has taken away from basketball.

“Fitting that it went into overtime? I think it’s — yeah, it is,” Georgetown coach John Thompson III said. Then the bitterness seeped into his voice: “It’s a shame they’re heading down to Tobacco Road for a few dollars more. This is a rivalry that meant a lot to our program and to their program and to this conference. ... It’s a shame that we are no longer going to have the same type of relationship.”

This is what happens at the end of a long relationship. Someone’s feelings are hurt worse than the other person's. You think you can have a clean break, but you never can. There’s sadness. There’s nostalgia.

“Madison Square Garden is the best place to play basketball in the world,” Boeheim said. “I think everybody knows that, high school, college or pro. I think if you ask any of those groups where they’d like to play, I think they’d say Madison Square Garden. There’s a reason Michael Jordan came in here and dropped 50 or 60 every time. They like to come here. This is the big stage.”

The final game of the Georgetown-Syracuse rivalry lived up to that big stage on Friday night. It was being played on 33rd Street, but it easily could have been a Broadway production. You couldn’t have scripted an ending any better than this.

winningest coaches

TOP OF THE HEAP

Mike Krzyzewski leads a storied group on college hoops' all-time win list.

Unless…

“You never know,” Carter-Williams told FOXSports.com after the win. “We could meet them again in the tournament. You don’t want to say it’s over.”

In a way, it’ll never be over, this supersized rivalry between two teams that, even now, with everything in the past, still can’t seem to find a way to quit each other.

Follow Reid Forgrave on Twitter @ReidForgrave or email him at ReidForgrave@gmail.com.
 

Tagged: Syracuse, Georgetown

More Stories From Reid Forgrave

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by



NCAA BK Videos

Georgetown, Syracuse to renew CBK rivalry Posted: Jun 10, 2014
Georgetown basketball coach John Thompson III on the renewal of the rivalry betw...

Cuonzo Martin new head coach at Cal Posted: Apr 16, 2014
Cuonzo Martin is introduced as Cal's new head coach.

UConn tops Notre Dame in women's final Posted: Apr 09, 2014
Hear from Geno Auriemma and his players after their National Championship victor...

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Nike Florida Gators #1 Replica Elite Basketball Jersey - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Florida_Gators/browse/featuredproduct/885881/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_885000/ff_885881_xl.jpg&w=100 74.95 Nike Florida Gators #1 Replica Elite Basketball Jersey - Black
    Nike Georgetown Hoyas #22 Hyper Elite Road Performance Jersey - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Georgetown_Hoyas/browse/featuredproduct/1030243/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1030000/ff_1030243_xl.jpg&w=100 119.95 Nike Georgetown Hoyas #22 Hyper Elite Road Performance Jersey - Navy Blue
    Nike Duke Blue Devils #5 Tourney Takeover Replica T-Shirt - Duke Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Duke_Blue_Devils/browse/featuredproduct/1032710/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1032000/ff_1032710_xl.jpg&w=100 27.95 Nike Duke Blue Devils #5 Tourney Takeover Replica T-Shirt - Duke Blue
    Nike Oregon Ducks X-Ray Ball T-Shirt - Green http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Oregon_Ducks/browse/featuredproduct/1052002/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1052000/ff_1052002_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Oregon Ducks X-Ray Ball T-Shirt - Green
    Nike Ohio State Buckeyes Road Warrior Tri-blend T-Shirt - Scarlet http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Ohio_State_Buckeyes/browse/featuredproduct/1052645/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1052000/ff_1052645_xl.jpg&w=100 29.95 Nike Ohio State Buckeyes Road Warrior Tri-blend T-Shirt - Scarlet
    Indiana Hoosiers 2013 NCAA Men\'s Basketball Road to March Madness T-Shirt - Crimson http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Indiana_Hoosiers/browse/featuredproduct/1124528/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1124000/ff_1124528_xl.jpg&w=100 19.95 Indiana Hoosiers 2013 NCAA Men\'s Basketball Road to March Madness T-Shirt - Cri..
    adidas Louisville Cardinals 2013 March Madness #10 Premier Swingman Jersey - Red http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Louisville_Cardinals/browse/featuredproduct/1127200/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1127000/ff_1127200_xl.jpg&w=100 89.95 adidas Louisville Cardinals 2013 March Madness #10 Premier Swingman Jersey - Red
    adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish 2013 March Madness #45 Premier Swingman Jersey - White http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Notre_Dame_Fighting_Irish/browse/featuredproduct/1127218/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1127000/ff_1127218_xl.jpg&w=100 89.95 adidas Notre Dame Fighting Irish 2013 March Madness #45 Premier Swingman Jersey ..
    Nike Gonzaga Bulldogs March Madness Bracketville T-Shirt - Navy Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Gonzaga_Bulldogs/browse/featuredproduct/1155821/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1155000/ff_1155821_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Nike Gonzaga Bulldogs March Madness Bracketville T-Shirt - Navy Blue
    Top of the World Miami Hurricanes 2013 NCAA ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament Champions Adjustable Hat – Green http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Miami_Hurricanes/browse/featuredproduct/1177723/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_1177000/ff_1177723_xl.jpg&w=100 25.95 Top of the World Miami Hurricanes 2013 NCAA ACC Men’s Basketball Tournament Cham..