Friday, March 8, 2013
Top 10 moments: Georgetown vs. Syracuse
By Jeremy Lundblad ESPN Stats & Information
With one of the great conference rivalries about to end, here’s a look back at the top 10 games in Syracuse-Georgetown history. The two face off in their final regular-season Big East game Saturday (noon ET on ESPN).
1. "Manley Field House is officially closed" -- Feb. 12, 1980: This is how a rivalry begins. Syracuse had won 57 straight games at home going into the final match at Manley Field House. But Georgetown put an end to that when Sleepy Floyd’s free throws gave the Hoyas a 52-50 win.
Georgetown coach John Thompson rubbed salt in the wound with the famous line: "Manley Field House is officially closed."
2. Pearl's shot topples No. 1 -- Jan. 28, 1985: Pearl Washington’s jumper from the elbow with eight seconds left gave Syracuse its first-ever win against the AP No. 1. Syracuse won 65-63, and the Carrier Dome faithful rushed the court.
The game was also notable for an incident in which a fan threw an orange at the backboard with Patrick Ewing at the line. After Thompson pulled his team from the court, Jim Boeheim settled the crowd over the PA system. This was also the site of arguably the most famous elbow in ESPN history, as Tom Mees dealt with an unruly crowd.
3. Michael Graham’s punch -- March 10, 1984: Georgetown beat Syracuse in the Big East tournament title game in a heated, overtime battle. There was an altercation in the game as Georgetown’s Graham allegedly took a swing at Syracuse’s Andre Hawkins.
However, Graham was called only for a two-shot foul. “Michael Graham, in front of 19,000 people, punched my player,” Boeheim said. “And the ref had the nerve to call it a two-shot foul.” The Hoyas won 82-71 in overtime. After the game, an angry Boeheim exclaimed: “Today, the best team didn’t win.”
4. Syracuse’s 10-point possession -- March 4, 1990: Arguably the strangest game in the history of the rivalry. Thompson received three technical fouls in a row from three different referees, and he walked to the locker room heckled by 33,015 Syracuse fans. That resulted in a 10-point possession for Syracuse.
The Hoyas still led by two in the closing seconds when Sam Jefferson inexplicably fouled Billy Owens at half court. The foul sent the game into overtime, and Syracuse won 89-87 to capture the Big East regular-season crown.
5. Perry McDonald comes up big -- Jan. 31, 1987: At just 6-foot-4, McDonald drew the assignment of guarding 6-foot-11 Rony Seikaly. Not only did McDonald score a career-high 23 points but his buzzer-beater in the paint gave Georgetown an 83-81 overtime win.
6. Johnson over Zo for the Big East title -- March 15, 1992: Senior Dave Johnson broke a 54-54 tie with the clock winding down, lofting a 10-footer just over the fingertips of Alonzo Mourning with 3.8 seconds left. Syracuse had lost its first three Big East title games against Georgetown.
7. Charles Smith’s coast-to-coast drive -- Jan. 24, 1988: After Sherman Douglas put Syracuse ahead by one with seven seconds left, Smith took the ball the length of the court and scooped a layup under Seikaly. Georgetown won 68-67, silencing a crowd of 32,419 in the Carrier Dome.
8. "Gerry Mac Drops One on G'Town" -- Feb. 21, 2004: With three defenders converging on him, Gerry McNamara knocked down a 3-pointer to beat the buzzer and give Syracuse a 57-54 win in Washington, D.C.
9. Ewing takes a swing at Pearl -- March 8, 1985: It could have been much worse. Early in the first half, Washington gave Ewing an elbow to the ribs. Ewing tried to retaliate, barely missing Washington with a wild punch. The benches emptied, and both players were restrained. Georgetown went on to win 74-65 to advance to the Big East title game.
10. Otto silences Otto’s Army -- Feb. 23, 2013: Otto Porter Jr. silenced the largest on-campus crowd in college basketball history (35,012). He scored a career-high 33 points in Georgetown’s final trip to the Carrier Dome as Big East rivals. The Hoyas won 57-46, holding Syracuse to its second-lowest total in the Carrier Dome.