Savor the flavor Georgetown fans. After Wednesday's clash in Syracuse, there may not be another opportunity totaste victory on the Oranges formidable home court. However, there is at least one more celebration the Hoyas can potentially ruin. The Hoyas'fiercest Big East rival has pledged allegiance to the Atlantic Coast Conference, likely hightailingit out of theleague it helped start after next season.Should this be the final Carrier Dome clash the schedule makers and perhaps lawyers will letus know, there is enough on the line for a worthy sendoff, unwanted as it may be.This intense rivalry requires no extra stimulus like rankings, though the No. 12 Hoyas and the No. 2 Orange have earned their lofty recognition. Chasing the Big Easts regular season crown adds additional heat especially with only one regular season game on the docket between the programs. The Hoyas (18-4, 8-3) trail the first place Orange (23-1, 10-1) by 1 12 games. Some of Georgetowns historic highlights are not simply about winning at Syracuse, but upstaging special Orange occasions.There was John Thompson Jr. in 1980 declaring, Manley Field House is officially closed after Georgetown won the final game played on Syracuses then home court. There was 2002 when the Carrier Dome court officially became Jim Boeheim Court during a pregame ceremony honoring the longtime and still active coach. The Hoyas celebrated during thepostgame after a 75-69 win.Expect anothermassive and roaring Syracuse home crowdin the 110th all-time meeting, 60th in Big East play (Syracuse leads the overall series 58-51, Georgetown 33-26 in conference games). Call it tradition. Call it Pavlovian. The Hoyas just know the boisterous assault is coming, especially after winning in the dome last year, the first victory at Syracuse for coach John Thompson III and guard Jason ClarkEvery single time I go up there, its always fun to play in that atmosphere, said Clark, the Hoyas' leading scorer and lone senior guard, before Mondays practice. The crowd gets into it, boosts you up a little bit. Its always fun when you got 30,000 people yelling at you, yelling all types of stuff at you. The Hoyas' leading scorer is a veteran of these battles. The Hoyas freshman class, not so much, though the kids are hardly novices when it comes to grasping what is in store.Theyve seen it, theyve watched games. Theyre Big East fans. Theyre Georgetown fans. They know what they are walking into, said Hoyas coach John Thompson III, who picked up his first win at Syracuse last season. Now, knowing it and once youve experienced it are something thats different obviously. They have a sense of the crowd, how great their fans are and how numerous their fans are.Away games in intimidating environments, are nothing new to the Hoyas. Even the new kids. The Maui Classic crowd was certainly pro-Kansas. True road tests at Alabama and Louisville ended in Georgetown wins. A reporter ticked off the list of this regular seasons unfriendly atmospheres. Thompson tacked on another hostile situation his young squad encountered to the list.And Bayi Rockets, Thompson bluntly added. China, of course. Surviving an international melee where punches and bottles were thrown gets one prepared for just about any harsh setting, even the one inside the vaunted Carrier Dome.Obviously, there arent too many games that are as spirited as the Georgetown-Syracuse games have been down through the years, the Hoyas coach said. Is this game special? Absolutely, but I think our guys are going to show up and be ready to play.Lengthy depth again proved decisive in the Hoyas' Saturday win over South Florida, Georgetowns second straight win. Normally Georgetowns varied options provide a sincere advantage, but not against a Syracuse team John Thompson III describes as being multi-layered in terms of its depth at every position.Since its 20-game winning streak was snapped at Notre Dame, Syracuse has strung together three straight victories. Former Archbishop Carroll star Kris Joseph leads the Orange in scoring, but hes one of several potential difference makers at Boeheims disposal.The Oranges potent transition game often comes from stymieing opposing offenses with their always-tricky 2-3 zone. That combination leads to offensive spurts, which leads to the Carrier Dome decibel levels reaching earsplitting heights.TheSyracuse faithful could be even a touch more jacked up knowing one more win will be number 880 for Boeheim, moving him past the legendary Dean Smith and into third place on the Division I all-time coaching wins list.Yep, sounds like another party the Hoyas could gleefully ruin.
Nearing closing time for Georgetown at Syracuse
February 8, 2012, 5:18 am