Big East Tournament 2013: Bold Predictions for Georgetown vs. Syracuse

Tim KeeneyContributor IMarch 15, 2013

WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 9:  Markel Starks #5 of the Georgetown Hoyas shoots a three-point shot during a college basketball game against the Syracuse Orange on March 9, 2013 at the Verizon Center in Washington, DC.  The Hoyas won 61-39.  (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
Mitchell Layton/Getty Images

One last time. 

The Big East tournament has provided us with some truly memorable moments over the years, and, in its final act, it will undoubtedly leave us wanting more from Madison Square Garden.

Georgetown and Syracuse, possibly more than any other teams, exemplify what Big East basketball has been about, and, in the rightful manner, the Hoyas and Orange will meet up in a historic semifinal. 

Here's a gander at what you can expect to play out. 

Note: All stats come via


First One to 40 Wins

OK, not seriously, but whatever the line is, I would take the "under." This season's first matchup between these two teams ended with a 57-46 Georgetown win. The second also went to the Hoyas, 61-39. 

And considering the style of each squad, those final totals weren't the least bit surprising. 

The Hoyas combine a slow pace (63.1 possessions per 40 minutes, 314th fastest in America) with a stingy defense (sixth in the country in points allowed per possession). The Orange, oddly enough, also combine a slow pace (139th) and a stingy defense (16th). 

What do you get when you pit two athletic, long, slow-tempo, defensively focused, offensively inconsistent teams?

For those who watch basketball for the points, you probably get a nap. 

Michael Carter-Williams is always a threat if he takes care of the ball, and James Southerland is breathing fire right now, so there's a chance for more points on Friday night, but the styles won't allow for an up-and-down battle. 


At Least One Overtime

It's only appropriate.

With the Big East separating, we have to say goodbye to Syracuse versus Georgetown, which has been one of the most electric, chill-inducing rivalries in college hoops over the past 15 years. 

Luckily, the basketball Gods were kind enough to set up one final matchup, and it would be fitting to have the game go down to the wire with a few "instant classic" moments down the stretch. 

Georgetown has thoroughly controlled the rivalry this year, but 'Cuse finally seems to be out of its month-long funk and should give the Hoyas a much better matchup. 


Syracuse Avoids the Sweep

The first two meetings between these teams suggest Syracuse has no chance, but if we've learned anything this college basketball season, it is to expect the unexpected. 

Syracuse ended the regular season at an atrocious 5-7 in its last 12 games, but it appears Jim Boeheim finally has his squad playing well again. The second-round win over Seton Hall wasn't convincing, but Thursday's victory over Pittsburgh was extremely telling. 

Most importantly, the Orange scored 1.112 points per possession. Carter-Williams dished out seven assists, hit his free throws and even knocked down a three. Southerland poured in six threes on six attempts. C.J. Fair and Brandon Triche also got hot from the outside. 

In what will undoubtedly be a defensive struggle, the team that can knock down some outside shots late in the game will come out on top.

Georgetown clearly has candidates to do just that in Otto Porter (who can also do literally everything else), Markel Starks and D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera, but Southerland and the Orange are finally clicking at the perfect time.