We’ve gotten back one of the rivalries that conference realignment cost us.
Georgetown and Syracuse announced on Tuesday that they will be reigniting what was the most intense rivalry in the Big East prior to it’s breakup. The deal that was signed was for a four-year, home-and-home series beginning in 2015-2016. The first game will be played in Washington, D.C.
“Georgetown against Syracuse is one of the great rivalries in college basketball,” Georgetown Head Coach John Thompson III said in a release. “From Game One all the way through our last game, the passion, emotion and intensity of this rivalry is hard to match. We look forward to renewing the series that has generated some of the great moments in our sport.”
RELATED: What makes this rivalry so special?
“In the early days of the Big East Conference, the Syracuse-Georgetown matchup quickly developed into one of college basketball’s best rivalries,” said Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim. “The games in that series have been played at a remarkably high level over the years. We’re looking forward to the challenge of playing Georgetown again.”
Realignment was an emotional drain on college hoops, but there is something to be learned from Georgetown and Syracuse: don’t let the money-grab that football and television deals inspired ruin our sport. I’m looking at you, Missouri and Kansas. And you, Pitt and West Virginia.
If your rivalry is so strong and means so much to the fan bases that it actually has a nickname, put the petty grievances aside and play the damn game.
Now if we could only find a way to make Georgetown think it’s a good idea to play Maryland, too.
Wednesday the NCAA made its ruling on two appeals of sanctions made by Syracuse University, with the news being mixed for the men’s basketball program.
On the positive side the NCAA ruled that Syracuse will be docked two scholarships per season for the next four years, as opposed to the original ruling of three. As a result Jim Boeheim’s program only has to account for the loss of eight total scholarships, meaning that they’ll have 11 to fill in each of the next four seasons as opposed to ten.
One scholarship may not seem like a big deal, but in a sport where you only get 13 (when not dealing with sanctions) getting that grant-in-aid back really helps from a recruiting standpoint.
As for the negatives, they both concern Boeheim. Not only has there yet to be a ruling on Boeheim’s appeal of his nine-game suspension that goes into effect when ACC play begins in January (that appeal is being heard separately), but the appeal to reinstate the wins that were vacated as part of the sanctions was denied. As a result Boeheim officially has 868 wins instead of 969 (not counting today’s game against Charlotte).
And with Mike Hopkins set to take over as head coach in 2018, the denial means that college basketball will have to wait quite some time before anyone threatens to join Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski in the 1,000 wins club.
While not having the wins officially reinstated does hurt, getting a scholarship back for each of the next four seasons is a bigger deal when it comes to the long-term health of the Syracuse program. Also of great importance will be the ruling regarding Boeheim’s suspension, as a suspended coach is not allowed to have any contact with his players or coaching staff while serving the penalty.
And with the original ruling due to take up half of Syracuse’s league slate, not having Boeheim (or the chance to speak with him) is a big deal when it comes to this current team.
St. John’s forward Kassoum Yakwe has been cleared by the NCAA to play this season and will be eligible immediately, the school announced on Wednesday.
Yakwe is a 6-foot-8 forward that reclassified and enrolled at St. John’s this fall. He attended the same high school as Kansas forward Cheick Diallo, who was also cleared by the NCAA to play today.
St. John’s played in the Maui Invitational this week, and Yakwe did not take part. His first game with the Johnnies will be on Dec. 2nd against Fordham if the program plans to play his this season.
The question that must be asked, however, is whether or not he will suit up or simply redshirt. The Johnnies are in the midst of a serious rebuild and will be without their other elite recruit this season, Marcus Lovett. Lovett was ruled a partial qualifier. Would it make sense to burn a year of eligibility on what make amount to a wasted season, or will head coach Chris Mullin opt to save that year for down the road?