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NCAA Basketball: Syracuse at Georgetown

View from the Student Section: Possessed by the Hoya Spirit

Watching Syracuse get schooled definitely counts as studying for finals.

Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

This is finals week on campus, and students are being treated to all manner of sports-related procrastination opportunities. An ever-important game against those traitors from the great white north, then getting to watch the Men’s Soccer team win their first ever National Championship, made for a thrilling weekend. In this installment of a View from the Student Section, a sophomore in the college gives her thoughts on what it was like to experience Saturday’s big win over the Syracuse Orange.

How long’s it been, Georgetown?

If you’d asked me last week how I thought this game was going to go, I probably would’ve laughed sarcastically and asked why you were kicking me when I was already down. Then, I would have expressed halfhearted hope that the team might unify to put up a good fight against their most hated rival. I was similarly nervous this morning, wondering whether the Hoyas had it in them to compensate after the tally of lost players rose to four.

I’ve never been so happy to be proven wrong.

The fact that I arrived a few minutes before noon — more than an hour before tipoff — and the first half dozen rows of the student section were already full shows just how pumped students were for this game. Section 116 was packed well before tip-off and students continued to pour into the section at the opposite end of the arena throughout the first half. The typical crowd sing-along of “Hey Baby” was quite spirited as students temporarily forgot about Orgo, Econ, and all of the other horrendous finals going on this week.

Turns out you can avoid foul trouble by being called for them before the game starts.
Turns out you can avoid foul trouble by being called for them before the game starts.
AAC ‘22

Mac McClung showed why he was last week’s Big East Player of the Week, scoring 21 points in the first half alone (for those keeping track, that’s 2 more than he scored against SMU — TOTAL). He controls the crowd unlike any other player on the court, prompting eager anticipation whenever he stepped back behind the arc and thunderous roars when he drove to the basket off of a steal. Just when you thought Capital One couldn’t get any louder, he hit another three as the first-half buzzer sounded.

Omer Yurtseven made a good showing on the court as well, coming out one rebound short of a double-double. However, he was perhaps outshone by his dark, wavy locks, which came tumbling down his back midway through the second half. Never fear, he got them under control again while continuing to defend in the paint, a multitasking effort that made this girl proud.

Among the loudest cheers among students, and certainly the most wholesome one, was for none other than George Muresan. A chant of “George! George! George!” started up in support of the senior. I was rooting hard for him to get a basket, but in the end, he didn’t make any egregious errors and even managed to snatch up an offensive rebound—so I called it a good six minutes of play.

Jahvon Blair notched three more 3-pointers under his belt after knocking down seven against SMU. I won’t pretend to know what sparked this (I’ve stopped trying to understand how this team works), but I hope it means he’s found his shot. Because freshman Blair was fun to watch.

Hecklers brought their A-game, and there was no better time to do it. I spotted signs reading “Go back to Southern Canada,” “Jack Eats Oranges for Breakfast,” and the classic “Juice Cuse” scattered around the arena. Students responded with appropriate indignation when a player on the Syracuse bench tried to trip Terrell Allen. We got the last laugh, though, as shouts of, “who’s your daddy?” followed Buddy Boeheim off the court after he was called for his fifth foul.

The final seconds were marked by Jagan Mosely, another of the day’s standout players, and Patrick Ewing hyping up the crowd. Students, already up on their feet, fed off the energy and screamed even louder. I couldn’t even hear the final buzzer with the elated cheers surrounding me on all sides. Everything became a blur as the bleachers shook beneath me and hundreds of students and alumni proudly sang the Fight Song. It’s been a while since I heard that level of volume in Capital One.

The game was a decisive victory for the Hoyas and a powerful statement that the rest of the Big East better watch out. The team played—well, as a team. They played with a lot of heart after two weeks of insane turmoil and speculation. A lot of questions remain unanswered and we’ll probably never find out exactly what happened, but today I saw a group of players that I was proud to root for. The fact that the game was against Syracuse made the victory even more sweet.

Are the days of blown leads and defeat snatched from the jaws of victory behind us? Nah, that’s probably too optimistic. But it felt nice to be in control, at least for today. This was fun, Georgetown. Let’s do it more often.



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