Big East Tourney Recap: What a Weekend!

I hate the winter, but I love March. It’s my birthday month, St. Patty’s day and most importantly March Madness! I love the conference and NCAA tourneys more than any other sporting event. This year I got to experience the Big East Tourney in person! Last Wednesday night I headed up to Hoboken to meet up with my family at my brother’s so we could watch Syracuse in the last real Big East Tourney. My parents and I attempted to catch a tourney game at the Garden last year, but ended up buying counterfeit tickets.

Everyone we asked told us the best way to get tickets was to just buy them on the street outside the Garden, so we didn’t think there’d be a problem. The red X that appeared on the ticket scanner when we tried to enter that night told a different story. It was unbelievably disappointing. I also felt responsible even though I know my parents were just as excited as I was to go, I felt like they were doing this in part for me. We made the most of the night though and still enjoyed the game from Stout, a Syracuse bar around the corner.

This year we decided to go the StubHub route and bought tickets ahead of time for Thursday through Saturday. The only two games we’d been to in person so far this year had been both dismal Georgetown losses, and after they got off to a tough start against Seton Hall Wednesday we were hopeful, but a bit nervous as to how they would fare. It ended up being so much fun and better than we ever could have expected! We got to watch Syracuse play in all three games we went to and while they didn’t win it all, revenge against Georgetown was so sweet and made it a perfect weekend! Thanks for such a great Christmas present Mom & Dad! Pics below!

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Home Sweet Dome

Last weekend my Dad, Ian and I headed up to the Carrier Dome to see Syracuse play longtime rival Georgetown. A record-setting 35,012 people packed the Dome breaking the NCAA on-campus attendance record. Carmelo Anthony was back at the Dome to have his number retired at halftime. The place was rocking and orange was everywhere. It was perfect. Then we lost to Georgetown. Talk about a buzz-kill.

The Syracuse – Georgetown rivalry is legendary and one of the things I’m most sad to lose as conference realignment moves forward next season and the Big East falls apart. I know they plan to continue playing each other, but it just won’t be the same. Seventeen of Syracuse’s 72 games with more than 30,000 in attendance at the Dome have been against Georgetown. A few years before I was born in February of 1980 Syracuse brought a 57 consecutive home game win streak in to its final game at Manley Field House. The seniors on that team had never lost a home game in their careers. Georgetown beat the Orange that day and Coach John Thompson grabbed a mic and announced, “Manley Field House is officially closed.’’ Truly a rivalry for the ages – you just can’t make this stuff up.

Last weekend, this year’s Syracuse squad took a 38 home game winning streak onto the court. Thanks to Otto Porter blowing up for 33 points and Syracuse not being able to beat their 2-3 zone – something you think they’d know how to attack! – the ‘cuse lost their last Big East home game to the Hoyas. Current Georgetown Coach, John Thompson III, said he wasn’t going to give a Manley Field House is closed type of statement. Some might call him classy for that, but I prefer to think he just doesn’t want to give the Orange any bulletin board material for their rematch on March 9 down here in D.C.

I’ll be at that game too and I hope the ‘cuse can return the favor. I’m sure it’ll be a blast and it’s always fun to see so many Orange shirts at an away game despite Georgetown’s best efforts to keep Syracuse fans out. I actually had to make a $50 donation to Georgetown this year for the chance to buy a maximum of eight tickets. They don’t do that for any other game. It was a bit hard to swallow, but worth it to head to Carrier Dome South – I mean the Verizon Center – for the game this March.

Pics from the game at the Dome below. I unfortunately forgot my real camera so some of the iPhone shots are a bit blurry. I did have my wide angle iPhone lens adapter though, so I was able to get some good shots showing how packed it was in there!