Syracuse and Georgetown Look to Add Another Chapter to Historic Rivalry
Two former Big East rivals will meet in Washington, D.C. Saturday as Syracuse travels to Georgetown to add another chapter to their storied history. This will be the 95th meeting between the two, with the Orange leading the series 51-43.
Even though Syracuse holds the edge record wise, it is one of the most evenly matched college basketball rivalries in the country. In their 94 games, the two teams are only separated by 24 points (0.28 per game).
In trophy comparisons, Georgetown has 7 Big East Championships compared to Syracuse’s 5. However, the Orange have the lead in Final 4 appearances, 6 to 5. They each have 1 National Championship.
In a nod to this rivalry’s history, Syracuse will be debuting their throwback script uniforms against Georgetown. Cuse.com released a video Friday morning, with Buddy and Elijah showing off the new threads.
Rivalry aside, Jim Boeheim will take his guys into Capital One Arena looking to build off a great win at Georgia Tech. Buddy Boeheim shot 6-13 from behind the arc en route to 26 points, but it was Elijah Hughes who once again put the offense on his back. Hughes scored 33 to go along with 5 rebounds and 4 assists.
Lost in the disappointing start for the team, Elijah has sneakily put together a historic stat line this year. He’s averaging 4 assists with 1 steal and 1 block per game, all the while shooting at least 40% from three. That’s only been done twice in NCAA history over a full season (Syracuse.com).
As underwhelming as Syracuse’s start has been, it doesn’t compare to Georgetown’s. Head coach Patrick Ewing announced the departure of two key players, Josh LeBlanc and James Akinjo from the program following accusations of assault and battery against LeBlanc. Akinjo’s decision to leave was a separate situation. LeBlanc played 19 minutes a game and led the Hoyas in field goal percentage, while Akinjo was named the Big East Freshman of the Year last season.
Coach Ewing will look to big man Ömer Yurtseven and former social media phenom Mac McClung to carry the scoring load.
This game could be defined by heavy mismatches each team faces. For Syracuse, it will be keeping Yurtseven and the rest of Georgetown off the offensive glass. According to KenPom, the Hoyas are the 16th best offensive rebounding team in the nation, so Syracuse must place an emphasis on rebounding out of the zone, which is always a challenge.
However, that same zone defense excels at creating turnovers, which happens to be Georgetown’s specialty. Averaging almost 17 turnovers a game, they rank 328th (!) in the country in that category. Look for Syracuse to be hyper-aggressive on defense and attempt to cause havoc on that end.
Much like the history between these two teams, this game will be physical, hard-fought, gritty, ugly, and any other “coach-speak” adjectives you want to add. You can catch the 95th installment of this rivalry at 1 p.m. EST on Fox.