Friday Night’s Game a Fitting End to Syracuse-Georgetown Rivalry
In what will be the last Big East Tournament for the foreseeable future, Syracuse defeated Georgetown in a semi-final matchup. The game lived up to all expectations finishing in OT 58-55. Syracuse will continue their Big East title hopes tomorrow night before they leave the conference for the ACC next season.
Syracuse looked strong in the first half. The bench played a major role for Cuse scoring early and often. Syracuse big man Rakeem Christmas only played 4 minutes in the game, but Baye Keita picked up the slack. He looked like a force on the inside and could be a revelation for Cuse if they hope to win the National title. Guard Trevor Cooney got a surprisingly extended run in the first half, scoring 10 points out of nowhere. James Southerland put in 4 three-pointers in the game, tying former Syracuse Guard and now assistant coach Gerry McNamara's record for 3 pointers in a single Big East Tournament. Syracuse's depth proved capable and they'll rely on their bench if foul trouble presents itself later on this season.
Georgetown was down 9 going into the second half because their star Otto Porter Jr. struggled early in the contest. The second half went Georgetown's way. The Hoyas came out aggressively and fought back into the game. After beating Syracuse in their first 2 meetings of the year, Georgetown knew they had an edge on Syracuse. With Porter Jr. on the line with 7 seconds to go, he calmly hit 2 free throws to send the game into OT. I guarantee that fans in the Garden had no complaints with 5 minutes of free basketball.
The OT period was sloppy at best. Syracuse turned the ball over whenever they had a chance to run away from Georgetown. They missed 4 of 5 free throws down the stretch to keep the Hoyas in it. Georgetown floor leader Markel Starks fouled out early in the OT period and the offense suffered from his absence. As good as Porter Jr. is, he can't do everything. A last second heave for Georgetown would've tied the game but it was off the mark.
This is just another classic game that you can add to the Big East history books. The rivalry has been passed down from Georgetown coach John Thompson Jr. to JT3. Jim Boeheim has been a part of it since the Big East's inception. There is no doubt that the rivalry will be missed but not forgotten.
If the teams happen to meet in NCAA tournament games in the near future, there will be an added pressure for both schools. The rivalry will certainly live on long past the games. If it has to end, it couldn't have finished better than this.