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Syracuse v. Georgetown: Rivalry Transcends Superstars

Did you think I wasn't going to use this photo at some point? via <a href="" target="new">YouTube</a>.
Did you think I wasn't going to use this photo at some point? via YouTube.

There was a time in the not-too-distant past when UConn, not Georgetown, was our rival. You can thank or blame Craig Esherick I suppose, depending on how you feel about it. Even if you personally disagree, you can't argue with the perception.

We did our best to keep the norm. When we beat an unranked Georgetown in the late 90's, we stormed the court just to let them know we still cared.

Now? Things are back to where they should be. We won the regular-season battle last year but the Hoyas re-asserted themselves in the Big East Tournament. We're officially back in "throw out the records" mode. Though to be honest, you probably don't want to throw those records out, they're both pretty good. Which only makes it better.

The rivalry needs both teams to be this good, especially in a season where both teams, the conference and college basketball at-large lack superstars to light up the marquee.

In an earlier game, No. 11 Georgetown (18-5) is at No. 12 Syracuse (20-4). They are two of the better teams in the country’s most dominant conference, the Big East. But last year at this time Syracuse’s Wesley Johnson and Georgetown’s Greg Monroe were on their way to becoming lottery picks in the N.B.A. draft. This year neither team has a talent like those. And it’s a backhanded compliment to the league’s depth that it could land up to 11 teams in the N.C.A.A. tournament with only one player — Connecticut’s Kemba Walker — projected as a sure-fire first-round N.B.A. draft pick.

Th NBA is the land of superstars, college basketball is all about the teams.A year ago,everybody wanted to beat the Cleveland Cavs. Now? No one cares (which is a shame because it's so easy to do). But college basketball remains constant regardless of stars, record or rank. The truth is, Syracuse vs. Georgetown doesn't need stars (though to be fair Austin Freeman and Rick Jackson are no slouches). It needs a group of guys wearing orange and a group of guys wearing blue or gray or whatever Georgetown is doing these days. That's it.

Syracuse-Georgetown is also about moments. Many of those moments involve superstars but ultimately the moments are bigger than any one player. I'm sure you've made a mental note in your head of your favorite with the hope that we'll make one more Wednesday.

Villanova's become a big game due to the whole attendance issue. UConn is always an important game. USF is...well, forget about them. But I don't think you can argue any of them are as big to Cuse fans as Georgetown.  We don't just create Haiku hashtags for anyone. It takes a lot to motivate us to hate so willingly these days and yet, it comes so naturally with the Hoyas. I'm sure they'd take it as a compliment.