Teams: Syracuse Orange (8-1) vs. Georgetown Hoyas (8-0)
Day & Time: Saturday, December 16, 2017, 12:30 p.m. ET
Location: Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.
TV/Streaming: CBS/CBS Sports Live
Radio: Syracuse IMG Network, WAER 88.3, Sirius 93/XM 193
Georgetown blog: Casual Hoya
Rivalry: 49-43, Syracuse leads
Current Streak: 2, Georgetown (booooooooooooooooooo)
First Meeting: Before the game, someone asked “what’s a Hoya?” and no one on the Georgetown bench had an answer. Led by Ev Katz, Syracuse ran past the Hoyas at home, 40-18 in February of 1930. Afterward, a fan looked at their timepiece and exclaimed “it’s 2:47!” From across the court, someone responded “and Georgetown still sucks!” It’s been a tradition ever since.
Last Meeting: The Pearl-throwback clad Orange were tied 33-33 at the half with Georgetown, but relying too heavily on Tyler Lydon (29 points) for any and all offense, things fell apart in the second. SU fell, 78-71 and we’re still annoyed about it. Never mention this game again.
Head Coaches: SU: Jim Boeheim (42nd year, 1,012-358); Georgetown: Patrick Ewing (1st year, 8-0)
Coach Bio: Ewing was one of the better college centers of all-time while playing at Georgetown, then translated that to a Hall of Fame pro career predominantly with the New York Knicks. Afterward, he served as an assistant with the Wizards, Rockets, Magic and the Bobcats/Hornets before taking this Hoyas gig in the offseason. He definitely deserved a head coaching role before this one. As a Knicks fan, I’d prefer he got literally any other job.
Last Year: Georgetown was even more hot garbage than normal, going 14-18 and getting John Thompson III finally fired by some miracle. Beyond the miracle of beating Syracuse, the Hoyas other accomplishments in 2016-17 included somehow besting eventual Final Four team Oregon, losing to DePaul and getting knocked out of the Big East Tournament by St. John’s.
Last Game: The Hoyas beat North Carolina A&T, 83-74 in a game that you probably couldn’t have watched if you wanted to. Georgetown continued going through the motions against (seriously) the nation’s worst non-conference schedule, as Jessie Govan led the way with 22 points and a big effort inside against NC A&T.
"Fear Me, I've Killed Hundreds of Timelords": Georgetown is the first Syracuse opponent all year that really has the size to match up with them inside. The aforementioned Govan is scoring over 20 points per game with 13 rebounds, and is a pretty efficient shooter from the field (63 percent) and from three (58.3 percent). SU can potentially let him go off in the paint if it means covering the perimeter -- but that hasn’t been the way of things so far this season.
Speaking of the Hoyas’ play beyond the arc, Georgetown’s hitting less than 40 percent of threes as a team against much lesser competition. However, without one threat from deep, they actually have a bunch of players that could potentially get hot from behind the line. Keep an eye on Kalen Johnson, who’s hitting 55 percent of his threes. Or perhaps Jamarko Pickett, their volume three-point shooter, breaks the funk he’s been in so far this season.
If Syracuse Wins: Order is brought to the world once again. Georgetown’s previously unbeaten mark is exposed as a fraud, and their RPI sinks to depths typically unseen by even the highest of mid-majors. Syracuse breaks a senseless two-game losing streak to the Hoyas and we all move onto more important matters.
If Syracuse Loses: CANCEL THIS STUPID GODDAMN SERIES IMMEDIATELY.
Fun Fact No. 1: This has always been one of the more evenly-matched rivalries around, with each team taking a short-lived turn at the top of the hill before ceding to the other. The teams tied 36-36 in Big East play before the Orange left in 2013. They were also 7-7 against one another in the Big East Tournament (including one final meeting in ‘13, which Syracuse won).
Fun Fact No. 2: Syracuse’s three assistant coaches — Adrian Autry, Gerry McNamara and Allen Griffin -- were a stellar 14-5 against Georgetown while starting for Syracuse basketball as players. Less fun, and perhaps more stunningly, Ewing was 8-3 as a player against the Orangemen from 1981-85. Jim Boeheim was on one SU team that played Georgetown -- a game which the Orangemen won 95-81 in 1965.