HOW WE GOT HERE
HOYAS SENIOR Patrick Ewing Jr., 23, is a tad old for a collegian, and yet the Georgetown-Syracuse rivalry predates both his birth and his famous father's arrival at Georgetown in 1981. In '80 the Hoyas beat the Orange in the final game ever played at Manley Field House, Syracuse's old gym, and Georgetown coach John Thompson Jr. rubbed salt in the wound when he proclaimed, "Manley Field House is officially closed." The war was on. Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim characterizes what ensued as a "harsh, tough rivalry with bad feelings on both sides." Following Papa Thompson's retirement in 1999, the Hoyas faded and Boeheim won his first national title, in 2003, but now the tide has turned again. The Orange missed the '07 NCAA tournament; the Hoyas went to the Final Four under Thompson's son John III. Now Syracuse is back with a stellar recruiting class headlined by Donte' Greene, a Baltimore forward who was also being recruited by Georgetown. It's on ... again.
Consecutive Syracuse wins at Manley before the Hoyas snapped the streak.
AFTER BEATING Syracuse and Boeheim (right) for the first time on Feb. 25, 2006—a little more than a month after his team upset No. 1--ranked and previously undefeated Duke—John Thompson III said, "The Duke [win] was nice; this one is nicer."
TALKING THE TALK
"The Georgetown-Syracuse rivalry is something that is synonymous with the Big East. The specialness of that game was ingrained in me growing up."
—John Thompson III