Today's the day. This afternoon, the Syracuse Orange and Georgetown Hoyas renew their deep-seeded rivalry at the Verizon Center in Washington D.C.
The Hoyas are on a two-game winning streak and won three of their last four after digging themselves into an 0-2 hole to begin the year.
The Orange, meanwhile, are the No. 14 team in the country after a stellar start to the 2015-16 campaign. They have since been uprooted though after a home loss to the Wisconsin Badgers earlier this week.
This much-anticipated affair should bring all sorts of intensity as the Orange and Hoyas begin a home-and-home series that will travel up to the Carrier Dome in upstate New York a year from now. But for now, these two powerhouses will collide in the Nation's Capital. And if you're not excited for this, are you even a college basketball fan?
How to watch, listen or stream
Game Time: 1 p.m. ET
Radio: Syracuse IMG Network || WJFK 106.7 FM (Georgetown)
Online Streaming: Streaming for this telecast will be available via FOX Sports GO where available.
Odds: Georgetown opened as a 5.5 point favorite via OddsShark. That line can be found everywhere besides Station Casinos, which has the Hoyas as a 5 point favorite.
Records ATS: Syracuse (3-3) || Georgetown (4-2)
O/U: The O/U opened at 136.5. At BetDSI, it's found at 135.5.
Syracuse leads the series over Georgetown to the tune of 49-41. In the last 13 meetings between the two clubs, Syracuse holds a 7-6 edge. In the last 10, the Orange lead 6-4. And, in the last five, Syracuse holds a 3-2 to edge. Needless to say, the 'Cuse has been a thorn in Georgetown's side as of late.
3 things to watch
1. Something's gotta give: The Georgetown offense is one of the most efficient in the nation. The Syracuse defense is one of the best in the country. 'Cuse is only allowing teams to score 93.5 points per 100 possessions, 20th best in the country while Georgetown is scoring 110.6 points per 100 possession which ranks 32nd in the nation. Upon looking at the four factors, the only area of weakness that may be exploited is Georgetown's carelessness with the ball and Syracuse's abilities to force turnovers. Other than that, it's a damn dead heat. All eyes will be on the Hoyas when they have the ball as JTII looks to once again crack the 2-3 zone code again. He certainly has his fair share of tape to work with.
2. Gbinije's hot start: Michael Gbinije is still at Syracuse. No, seriously, y'all. Him and Trevor Cooney have been at 'Cuse so long, I swear I think they were playing with Andy Rautins and/or Josh Pace. Anyways, Gbinije has been dynamite in 2015. He's one of the most efficient shooters in the country. And especially so from the perimeter. Gbinije has drilled 24 of his 47 3-point field goal attempts, making good for a 51.1 percent mark from deep. That's the 86th-best 3-point percentage in the nation and sixth-best in the ACC, behind the likes of Sterling Smith, Justin Bibbs, Jamel Artis, Malik Beasley and Matt Milon. Georgetown is slightly above average at defending the perimeter, and they will be put to the test against this 'Cuse team which is shooting 39.4 percent as a team from deep.
3. Bradley Hayes vs. Syracuse's interior defense: In the Orange's loss to the Badgers, 6-foot-9 freshman Ethan Happ ate against Syracuse's "bigs." Mind you, 'Cuse has just two players taller than 6-foot-8 that have logged minutes - senior DaJuan Coleman who, also, somehow is still in upstate New York - and senior Chinoso Obokoh. Happ went off, scoring 18 points, shooting 8-for-15 from the field, and grabbed 15 rebounds and had three blocked shots to boot. Georgetown has a dossier of bigs to throw at 'Cuse, but no one has been more impactful - and surprisingly impactful at that - than Bradley Hayes. Hayes himself struggled against Wisconsin as well as Duke, but it will be interesting to see if Hayes can eat up against 'Cuse like Happ did. Of course, it's easier said than done against Syracuse's zone D, but it is fascinating if nothing else.