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Tonight’s one of final chapters in Georgetown-Syracuse rivalry


Mike Miller

The end is near for one of college basketball’s famed rivalries.

Georgetown and Syracuse fans don’t know exactly when it’ll end – the Orange are headed to the ACC, but possibly not until 2014 unless a lawsuit allows them, Pitt and West Virginia to bolt ahead of time – but it’s coming. (Kansas and Missouri have an expiration date on theirs.)

Not that any of the players are concerned with such things. Nor should they be. The Orange (23-1, 10-1 in Big East) are ranked No. 2 in the AP poll and have cemented themselves as one of the game’s elite teams this season. Georgetown (18-4, 8-3) might be the conference’s second-best team.

“Get a win. I ain’t worrying about it being the last game,” ’Cuse senior Scoop Jardine said Tuesday. “I’m worrying about the end of the game, the results, us winning no matter how we look, no matter how we get it. We need some wins right now.”

That the kind of maniacal focus has defined the rivalry, too. Well, and the really good basketball.

The Orange and Hoyas are 1-2 in all-time Big East wins and all-conference selections, not to mention combining for nine regular-season crowns, 12 tournament titles, seven Final Fours and two NCAA titles. And the names! And the games! So much to love about this rivalry.

Maybe that’s why this gives me some hope. From USA Today:

It is possible the Orange and Hoyas will continue their series in some fashion, but it’s unlikley to be a rivalry.

“There have been conversations,” [Syracuse coach Jim] Boeheim told USA TODAY in October. “I don’t think it’s going to be the same when you’re not in the same conference.”

[Georgetown coach John] Thompson III concurred.

“The Georgetown-Syracuse game is something that’s special,” he said last month. “With them going to the ACC, it’s going to be missed.”

That’s for certain. Another massive crowd (30,000 or so) is expected to fill the Carrier Dome for their only schedule matchup this season. It’s a place Syracuse rarely loses. This season (15-0 at home) is no different.

“They know what they’re walking into,” Thompson said. “They have a sense of the crowd and how great their fans are and how numerous their fans are. Once the game starts, it’s a court, it’s a gym, it’s fans. Obviously, there aren’t too many venues that hold as many people as the Carrier Dome. And there aren’t too many games that are as spirited as the Georgetown-Syracuse games have been down through the years.”

You also can follow me on Twitter @MikeMillerNBC.