Syracuse’s win over Pittsburgh sets stage for Orange’s 3rd meeting with Georgetown

first_img Published on March 14, 2013 at 8:15 pm Contact Michael: [email protected] | @Michael_Cohen13 NEW YORK — It had to end like this.After 30 years of breathtaking games, unforgettable players and a venue unlike any other, it’s only right that Syracuse and Georgetown — two of the fiercest rivals in college sports — will take the floor one more time.With wins over Pittsburgh and Cincinnati, respectively, Syracuse and Georgetown set the stage for a semifinal battle that will be remembered for years to come. Two of the programs that built the Big East, a league that will finally crumble with the conclusion of this week’s tournament, lock horns at 7 p.m. Friday in Madison Square Garden.“It’s a great way for this league to go out,” Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim said.For Syracuse, Friday presents not only an opportunity to string together three straight wins for the first time since January, but it also provides a shot at revenge after two disappointing losses to the Hoyas earlier this season.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textBefore the largest on-campus crowd in the history of college basketball, Georgetown stole the show in a late-February meeting that thrust the Hoyas into the conversation for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. Riding Otto Porter’s brilliance — he finished with 33 points — Georgetown left the Carrier Dome for the final time with a victory, just as it left Manley Field House three decades earlier.“When we played them in Syracuse, it was a good game for most of it,” Boeheim said. “We just didn’t play well in either game. They’re too good. If you don’t play well, they’re going to beat you.”And two weeks later, the Orange played even worse. The Hoyas embarrassed Syracuse with a 61-39 victory that was close for just a handful of minutes and ended the regular-season rivalry with a definitive knockout punch.It’s left a bitter taste in the mouths of the Syracuse players, who all discussed the importance of avenging the 22-point blowout Friday night.“I want it a lot,” Syracuse guard Brandon Triche said. “Them beating us twice, not too many teams have done that. I remember beating them twice, and the third time they beat us. That was in the Big East tournament. We’re trying to pretty much return the favor.”Triche’s backcourt partner, Michael Carter-Williams, said the team is flying high with confidence following its wins in the last two days. He admitted that the team got a bit discouraged after a stretch in which it lost four out of five games, but impressive wins over Seton Hall and Pittsburgh have resuscitated the swagger.For the first time in weeks, the locker room is buzzing. Gone are the lowly moments of a player talking quietly at his locker, and in its place are smiles and laughter of a team that appears to be peaking at exactly the right time.A win over Georgetown on Friday would thrust Syracuse back to the cusp of a top-10 ranking. And a win over Georgetown will always be a win over Georgetown.“They beat us up pretty bad,” Carter-Williams said. “We’re excited for it, just to get some redemption. It’s something we want and something we’re looking forward to. It’s just an old school Georgetown-Syracuse matchup in the Big East.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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