Games That Matter - March 15, 2013 (Georgetown v. Syracuse Preview: The Big East Apocalypse, Part Three - INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE EDITION)
A Few Quick-Hitters
Wait, What? Really? Again?
Enough about chocolate bars and Toto. For some terrible reason, the gods have decided that our Big East rivalry isn't quite over yet. Fine, let's get on with it then.
Considering this will be the third and final chapter of the Georgetown and Syracuse rivalry in the last year of the Big East as we know it, I can think of no better way to celebrate this game than by drafting a tribute to Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, the original "final" movie in the Indiana Jones saga, and one of my all-time favorites. Let's do this.
Georgetown v. Syracuse Preview: INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE EDITION
"Well, we made it!"
"When we are airborne, with Germany behind us, *then* I will share that sentiment!"
Congrats, we advanced to Friday night of the Big East Tournament. It's the hottest ticket in town and one of the most exciting nights of the year. Hooray!
Settle down, folks. Nothing to be excited about just yet. We beat an offensively-challenged Cincy team. Mazel tov. Now the real fun begins.
Dammit. I really didn't want to play Syracuse again. I feel like we ended the rivalry in the best way possible - with a clean and decisive sweep. The Orange will be hungry and motivated, and this will basically be a home game for them. Seriously, over 80% of the fans will be dressed in orange. Plus, it's hard to beat a team three times in one season. And of course, now all the haters are pointing to Big John's "kiss Syracuse good-bye" comment as something that will serve as poster board material for Cuse. (And yes, I fully accept the fact that Pitt has historically been a bad matchup for us, and of course, that Pitt was the only team to beat us handily all season. But still, I didn't want another game against Syracuse.)
Deciding who to root for in the Pitt-Syracuse game was like deciding whether to ingest rat poison or extra-strength rat poison. Either way, a little piece of you is slowly dying inside. I decided to root for regular rat poison. Oh well. P.S. Hey Pittsburgh, don't let the door hit you on the ass on your way out of our conference.
"Then, what are you complaining about? Now, he who finds the Grail must face 3 challenges. First, is the path of God: Only the penitent man shall pass. Second, is the word of God: Only in the footsteps of God, shall he proceed. Last is the breath of God: Only in a leap from the lion's head shall he prove his worth."
In our quest for a Big East title, we have completed two of three challenges. Only thing left is a giant leap from the lion's head to prove that we're the better team.
Fun Facts: Against Georgetown, Syracuse is averaging 42.5 points per game. Against everyone else, Syracuse is averaging 74 points per game (thanks ESPN). Most of you know that last week Georgetown held Syracuse to its lowest point total in the Jim Boeheim era. But did you also know that Syracuse's second-lowest point total in the Boeheim era happened last month when we beat them at the Dome? (Is this stat right? Or did someone just not do their research? If so, wow.)
"Nazis. I hate these guys."
Wait, am I comparing Syracuse's basketball team to the Nazis? Yes, yes I am.
"As you can now see, Dr. Jones, we are on the verge of completing a quest that began almost two thousand years ago. We're just one step away."
"That's usually when the ground falls out from underneath your feet."
Yes, and yes. Your Georgetown Fighting Hoyas are in the final stages of a quest that started 33 years ago, and which culminates in this final weekend of the Big East Tournament as we know it. We're just one step away, but this is when things get really interesting. Let's avoid an earthquake, young Hoyas.
"I told you..."
[grabs a gun and shoots all soldiers dead]
"DON'T call me Junior!"
His name is Otto Porter, kids. DON'T CALL HIM JUNIOR (especially if you have a Scottish accent).
"Sallah, I said *no* camels. That's *five* camels. Can't you count?"
Seriously, why are we playing these camels again? I'm over this Syracuse team, and I'm over this rivalry. It was so one week ago.
"Small world, Dr. Jones."
"Too small for two of us."
Enough is enough. One of us needs to move on and win this damn thing. It has to be Georgetown or Syracuse because IT JUST HAS TO. Let's get this party started.
"You lost today, kid. But that doesn't mean you have to like it."
This is what JTIII said to Otto after our loss to Villanova. But he didn't need to say anything. Otto hates losing.
"I'll never forget how vonderful it vas."
"Why thank you. It was rather wonderful."
"Zat's how Austrians say goodbye."
"Und zis is how ve zay goodbye in Germany, Dr. Jones."
I'm not interested in kissing Syracuse good-bye. I'm interested in punching Syracuse in the face. The German way is better. Time to get angry.
"I'm like a bad penny, I always turn up."
Jim Boeheim. Or Cashmere Wright. I can't decide.
"Listen. Since I've met you I've nearly been incinerated, drowned, shot at, and chopped into fish bait. We're caught in the middle of something sinister here, my guess is dad found out more than he was looking for and until I'm sure, I'm going to continue to do things the way I think they should be done."
(Conversation that was overheard between JTIII and his mom. These last 33 years have brought some crazy games between Georgetown and Syracuse. Big John had his way of doing things, and JTIII has his own style. Both were effective. But now it's the son's turn to finish this rivalry.) [SwordOfBrunner note: Am I the only one that thinks this is a weird scene to associate between a man and his mother?]
"My son, we're pilgrims in an unholy land."
This is what Big John told his son a few minutes before the Hoyas proceeded to close the Carrier Dome.
"Come on, dad. Help me get us out of here. We have to get to Marcus before the Nazis do."
Seriously. WE HAVE TO GET TO MARCUS BEFORE THE ORANGE DO.
"Junior, I have tell you something."
"Don't get sentimental now dad, save it until we get out of here."
"The floor's on fire... see... AND the chair."
No time to get all sentimental about this rivalry. Forget the nostalgia. Let's keep our eyes on the prize.
[Indiana punches him, picks him up and throws him out a window into a pile of luggage; the other passengers look at him, bewildered]
Tickets to Friday night's semifinals are virtually impossible to find. It's driving me crazy. I befriended a group of nice old ladies from Pittsburgh (who told me that they had tickets to all of the BET games), and after Pitt lost, I asked them if I could buy their tickets. They told me that unfortunately they left the remaining tickets in their hotel. Instead of volunteering to escort them back to their hotel (because I didn't want to be creepy), I went looking elsewhere. Big mistake. SYRACUSE FANS WERE EVERYWHERE. I GOT NOTHING. I NEED TICKETS. PLEASE HELP. THE GARDEN WILL BE ORANGE TOMORROW AND THIS WILL BE A HOME GAME FOR SYRACUSE. Ugh, I really don't want to play this team again. But seriously, somebody help me out with tickets. I need 1 for me, my wife, and some guy that we'll just call "Josh." [SwordOfBrunner note: Seriously, I went down at 920 to buy from Nova fans and a friend went down at 1130 to buy from Marquette fans. This ticket is impossible.]
"I suddenly remembered my Charlemagne. Let my armies be the rocks and the trees and the birds in the sky."
Nate, Hop and Moses are our rocks. DSR, Markel and Jabril are our birds in the sky. Otto is both a rock and a bird. (I have no idea what any of this means.)
"But choose wisely, for while the true Grail will bring you life, the false Grail will take it from you."
Yup. If we win this game, we are one step closer to immortality. If we lose, that will be absolutely terrible.
"We try to get around 30-35 deflections or tips per game, but against Villanova we had 58, which more than I've ever seen."(paraphrased)
This is what Rick Pitino said after Louisville beat Villanova. Rick doesn't care about points; he only cares about tips. Just the tips. Follow-up question: how many tips did you get against Georgetown, Ricky?
"The Name of God... Jehovah."
"But in the Latin alphabet, ‘Jehovah' begins with an ‘I'."
"Oh, *idiot*! In Latin Jehovah begins with an ‘I'!"
This is a flaw in the movie. Whether it's Latin or any other language, Jehovah begins with an "O". OTTO.
"Otto Porter is one of the top guards in the country."
Thanks for your great insight, as always, Jay Williams. Call me crazy, but Otto Porter (Don't Call Me) Jr. might play like a guard, but he's kind of a forward.
"Well, Marcus, we're on the verge of the greatest discovery in the history of mankind."
"And you're meddling with powers you can't possibly comprehend."
The mystique of this year's Big East title makes me very excited. We're in uncharted territory. This is more than just the Big East title. It's the last time the Hoyas and the Orange will be chasing down the same prize in New York. Oh my goodness, this game is so big.
"Is that what you think of me? I believe in the Grail, not the Swastika!"
"You stood up to be counted with the enemies of everything the Grail stands for! Who gives a *damn* what you believe?"
This was a recent conversation between Big John Thompson and Jim Boeheim. Jimmy said he believes in the Big East championship and everything that is good about rivalries and tradition and loyalty and basketball. Pops called him out, as only Pops can. He reminded his old friend Jimmy that when Syracuse teamed up with the evil forces of the ACC, it went against everything the Big East stood for (i.e. a league of similar northeast schools that believe in the power of a basketball-only conference). Alas, money prevailed once again. I HATE COLLEGE FOOTBALL.
"I wanted Pitt. Wanted to be done with the Scourge of Southern Canada and not risk tainting our earlier glory. But let's be real: the Big East is ending. It had to be this way. Had to be."
This is what someone (we'll call him "Kyle") said to me earlier today. And he's exactly right.
"The whole thing is tragic. Nobody cares about student athletes. All anybody cares about is money. Everybody in the NCAA, in college administration, they talk about academics and student athletes. If people cared about student athletes, West Virginia wouldn't be in the Big 12 with 10 teams flying 800 miles to their closest home game. That's really conducive to studying. The whole thing is a hypocrisy. ... The money has ruined it. If I was a fan, I'd be very disenchanted."
You know who said this? Mick Cronin. Like "Kyle," our friend Boggs from Shawshank is exactly right.
"I misjudged you, Walter. I knew you would sell your mother for an Etruscan vase. But I didn't know you would sell out your country and your soul... to the slime of humanity."
Yeah, I'll be honest. I was pretty surprised when Syracuse left the conference. Some said it was inevitable, but I never really believed it. I expected that sort of behavior from football schools like Miami and Virginia Tech and West Virginia. But Syracuse? Really? Et tu, Brute? How the hell could you have the guts to sell out your conference and your soul to the slime of humanity (the ACC) and look yourself in the mirror the next day? Georgetown's collective hatred of you has never been greater. Never.
"I knew it was you, you have your father's eyes."
"And my mother's ears but the rest belongs to you."
This is the line JTIII used when he first started dating his future wife. He's a smooth operator.
"Half the German army's on our tail and you want me to go to Berlin? Into the lion's den?"
"Yes. The only thing that matters is the Grail."
When in pursuit of the Holy Grail (the Big East title), sometimes you need to go straight into the lion's den. We already went into the lion's den (the Carrier Dome / Berlin) and succeeded, but now we need to do it again. Madison Square Garden will be Syracuse South on Friday night. Make no mistake about it. The crowd will be over 80% orange. To make it to that Big East title game and capture the elusive Grail, we'll need to beat Syracuse in a virtual road game one more time.
"The quest for the grail is not archaeology, it's a race against evil. If it is captured by the Nazis the armies of darkness will march all over the face of the earth. Do you understand me?"
The quest for the Big East crown is 100% a race against evil. We CANNOT allow Syracuse to win the title. We just can't. We won the first title, we've won the most championships, and now we need to close this thing out one last time. We're the #1 seed, we've beaten this team twice already, we're the better team, and we deserve it. We cannot let the ACC and the forces of evil prevail. Man up.
"And in this sort of race, there's no silver medal for finishing second."
[SwordOfBrunner note: I can't find 1/2 these quotes so i started subbing. deal with it]
No, no there isn't. We're playing for everything on Friday night. It's the final Georgetown-Syracuse Big East game EVER in the last year of the Big East Tournament as we know it. Losing is not an option. There will be no "great job, great effort" kids at this game. This will be an all-out war.
Keys to the Game:
1. Perimeter Defense: The key to Syracuse's newfound success in the Big East Tournament has been clutch outside shooting, particularly from James Southerland (who has somehow rediscovered his magical shooting touch). We can't let Triche, Southerland, Fair and MCW get open looks from the perimeter. We did a phenomenal job of closing out Cuse's shooters last week. We'll need to do it again on Friday night.
2. Breaking the Zone: In our first meeting, Otto the Orange Killer was a one-man wrecking crew. In our second meeting, Syracuse tried to take away Otto, but that resulted in Markel and DSR getting wide open looks from outside. How will Syracuse adjust in this game? We know they'll play a zone, but will it be their typical extended 2-3 zone, or will it be something closer to a box and one? How will we adjust?
3. Rebounding: I just have a feeling that the team that wins the rebounding battle will win this game. We'll need all of our guys to help out on the glass in this one. P.S. When Otto has seven or more rebounds, Georgetown is undefeated.
4. Knock Down Seven Threes: To beat Syracuse, we need to hit at least seven threes. That's a fact. Otto went nuts in Round #1. DSR and Markel went nuts in Round #2. Who steps up from the perimeter in Round #3?
Lie Down Forever, Lie Down
Here we go again. Georgetown and Syracuse. The winner gets to play for a championship. The loser goes home. It doesn't get any bigger than this.
For this young Hoyas squad, it's hard to believe this season can get any better. We've already won a Big East regular season title and clinched a #2 seed in the NCAA Tourney. And we've already messed up Syracuse twice. But something tells we're not finished yet. Thirty-three years ago, we closed down Manley Field House. Last month, we closed down the Carrier Dome. And last week, we closed down the regular season rivalry with Syracuse in style. If Syracuse is indeed "New York's College Team," then we might as well beat them in the Garden too.
This game is obviously about the Hoyas and the Orange, and the end of one of the greatest rivalries in all of sports, but it's also about so much more. Now that Marquette has been eliminated, your Georgetown Hoyas are carrying the torch for the New Big East. It comes down to Georgetown and three schools that are destined for the ACC. Right now, we're all we got. But you know what? Right now, we're all we need.
Georgetown and Syracuse one last time, my friends. It's the end of the world as know it. We've embarrassed this team twice already and we've taken their hearts. Now it's time to take their souls. Let's kick this team to the curb and play for a championship on Saturday night.
Let's go Hoyas. BEAT SYRACUSE.
[SwordOfBrunner note: I don't care that this is from the Temple Of Doom. Rip their hearts out and send them to the ACC. Go Hoyas.]
Stay Casual, my friends.