Back to the Future: Syracuse and Georgetown Renew Rivalry

Back to the Future: Syracuse and Georgetown Renew Rivalry

“Et tu, Brute,” former Georgetown coach John Thompson said of Big East rivals who fled the conference on ESPN’s “A Requiem for the Big East.” “It’s just that simple.”

He didn’t mention Syracuse. He didn’t have to.

The rivalry between Georgetown and Syracuse played bitterly when the schools competed in the Big East. Given Syracuse’s treason against the conference the schools played in by fleeing South to the ACC, the enmity might reach unprecedented levels once the schools resume play. After a several-year respite, the Hoyas and Orange will reestablish regular season play in 2015. Contests will alternate between Washington, DC’s Verizon Center and Syracuse’s Carrier Dome for four years. 

“In the early days of the Big East Conference, the Syracuse-Georgetown matchup quickly developed into one of college basketball’s best rivalries,” Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim declared in a statement. “The games in that series have been played at a remarkably high level over the years. We’re looking forward to the challenge of playing Georgetown again.”

Pearl Washington, Sleepy Floyd, Dikembe Mutombo, and Rony Seikaly surely look forward to the the Orange and the Hoyas going back to the future. Fans of both teams ready to party like it’s 1989. Bert wouldn’t be the same without Ernie. Peanut butter wouldn’t be the same without jelly. And Syracuse without Georgetown similarly didn’t sit right with even casual college basketball fans.

Syracuse and Georgetown first played during the 1929-30 season. A half century later, the two teams comprised two of the original seven members of the Big East, which quickly grew into a dominant conference in the NCAA tournament and in the television ratings during the 1980s. Syracuse enjoys a 49-41 edge in the hardwood grudge.

“Georgetown against Syracuse is one of the great rivalries in college basketball,” Georgetown coach John Thompson II reflected. “From Game One all the way through our last game, the passion, emotion and intensity of this rivalry is hard to match. We look forward to renewing the series that has generated some of the great moments in our sport.”