Syracuse and Georgetown will meet for the final time in the regular season as members of the Big East Saturday, putting a lid on one of college basketball’s most storied conference rivalries. Georgetown can clinch at least a tie of the Big East crown with a victory.
Syracuse and Georgetown were charter members of the Big East when the conference was formed in 1979 as a high-profile basketball conference that included several other member schools from along the Eastern seaboard. Since then, with all apologies to UConn, the Hoyas and Orange have been the flagship programs of the Big East. After this season, Syracuse is leaving the conference to join the ACC.
These two teams met just two weeks ago with the Hoyas coming away with a 57-46 win as a 7.5-point road favorite. That win came as part of an 11-game win streak for Georgetown that was snapped Wednesday in a loss to Villanova. Syracuse beat DePaul Wednesday that snapped a two-game skid.
As is their tradition, Georgetown is led by a rough-and-rugged defense that ranks in the top-10 in nation in both points allowed (56.3 a game) and opponent’s field-goal percentage (37.6 percent). Offensively, the Hoyas are paced by forward Otto Porter Jr. The 6’8” sophomore leads the team in both scoring (16.6 points a game) and rebounds (7.6 a game). Porter has been particularly strong down the stretch while emerging as a candidate for National Player of the Year. In the Hoyas last three games—wins against Syracuse, Connecticut and Rutgers—Porter has averaged 27.6 points and been a beast on the boards.
Syracuse come into this big matchup reeling as they have lost three straight games to fall out of contention in the Big East regular season race. Coach Jim Boeheim will be itching to get his team back on track before entering tournament play next week and the college basketball bracket picks season commences in offices everywhere. Not to mention a win would come against his bitterest rival in Georgetown in the team’s final game as a member of the Big East.