When the buzzer sounded on the final Georgetown-Syracuse game in the 2013 Big East tournament, it felt like a part of college basketball died. A once-brilliant rivalry built on passion and competition, taken behind the shed and put out of its misery by conference realignment and the almighty football dollar. It was an unfortunate casualty, but while the annual battles were gone, the memories constructed by these passionate foes only grew fonder in the hearts of basketball fans to the east
More defining moments are sure to be created this Saturday when the rivalry between Georgetown and Syracuse returns in D.C.
Big East Coast Bias comprised a list of the best moments in this long-standing rivalry, and with the help of our good friends at Casual Hoya and Nunes Magician, we narrowed it down to the five most memorable moments in Georgetown-Syracuse history.
5. Patrick Ewing and Pearl Washington exchange 'bows
A year after emotions ran high in the 1984 Big East Tournament, Syracuse and Georgetown met once again at Madison Square Garden in '85, with the defending champion Hoyas looking to send a message to the rest of the country. Patrick Ewing and Pearl Washington were running downcourt when Ewing caught Pearl with an elbow to the ribs. Pearl returned the favor shortly later with an elbow to the gut. An enraged Ewing responded with a haymaker that barely missed Washington. "Dwayne was just lucky that he ducked,’’ Syracuse’s Howard Triche said. "I don’t know if he saw it coming or it was just instinct, but he’s lucky he ducked out of the way or he’d have no head.’’
Both players received technicals rather than ejections, and the game continued. Ah, life before the Malice at the Palace...Georgetown would win the game 74-65.
4. Otto Porter leaves Otto's Army silent in final Big East game at the Dome
It was the final Big East meeting between Cuse and Georgetown in the Carrier Dome, and the largest on-campus crowd for a college basketball game (35,012) was in attendance. Otto's Army was rocking at tip-off, but another Otto would shut them up for good. Otto Porter was automatic for Georgetown, and his career-high 33 points left the Syracuse faithful silent in a 57-46 Hoyas win. The suffocating Hoyas D held Syracuse to their second-lowest point total in Carrier Dome history.
3. Gerry Mac drops one on G'Town
Gerry McNamara is no stranger to the dramatic, especially when it involves Georgetown. His first mortar bomb onto the hearts of Hoyas fans might be the most stinging. With the game tied 54-54 and eight seconds on the clock, Syracuse had to take the ball the length of the court. As Hakim Warrick stumbled with the ball around the perimeter, he spun and found McNamara from NBA-range, and with three defenders in his face, G-Mac knocked down a three to beat the buzzer and stun the Hoyas 57-54.
2. Michael Graham's punch
Syracuse and Georgetown met in the 1984 Big East Tournament, and with the game tight, tempers flared after GT's Michael Graham appeared to throw a punch at Cuse's Andre Hawkins while battling for a rebound. Referee Dick Paparo signaled to throw Graham out of the game, but Jodi Sylvester over-ruled him and called it an intentional foul. Graham stayed in the game and Georgetown won 82-71.
In the post-game press conference, a furious Jim Boeheim took the podium and said: "Michael Graham, in front of 19,000 people, punched my player, and the ref had the nerve to call it a two-shot foul....Today, the best team didn’t win."
1. Manley Field House is Officially Closed
It's the words that started it all. On Feb. 12th, 1980, the 2nd-ranked Orange carried a 57-game home winning streak into their final game at Manley Field House before moving to the Carrier Dome. John Thompson and the Georgetown Hoyas had other plans in mind. Despite a 15-point halftime deficit, the Hoyas rallied from behind, and in the final minutes Eric "Sleepy" Floyd hit the game-sealing free throws to upset Syracuse 52-50.
After the win, Thompson arrived at the press conference and infamously declared: "Manley Field House is officially closed." What a way to start a rivalry.