Big East Rivalry 2018: 'Cuse Is On Top

Big East Rivalry 2018: 'Cuse Is On Top

My experience at the 2018 Syracuse vs. Georgetown rivalry game, and why it made me love 'Cuse even more.

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I'd like to start by saying... it is 10:55 p.m. and Georgetown still sucks.


The annual Big East rivalry game between the Syracuse Orange and the Georgetown Hoyas occurred on Saturday, December 8, 2018, in the iconic Carrier Dome. The Orange came out on top with a second-half comeback win of 72-71 over the Hoyas. It was a fantastic game... If you weren't there, I'm sorry.

Being the big Syracuse fan (and student) that I am, I am going, to be honest with you... Syracuse really didn't do good in the first half. Honestly though... it was bad. The score was Hoyas: 35 Orange: 22 at the end of the half. We had made 1 out of 15 free throws, and with every free throw missed, hope was lost. I was contemplating leaving because we just weren't playing good, and it was almost too frustrating to watch.

But then, I decided to stay because I kept my faith in the Orange. I knew Boeheim would whip them into shape in the locker room, and he must have because, in the end, we prevailed.

The second half. Was. Crazy.

In the first four minutes of the second half, 'Cuse went from 22 points to 36, while Georgetown only went from 35 to 39. The Orange were making a comeback!!!!!!!

Thankfully, this game occurred in the Carrier Dome, so the Loud House did what the Loud House does. It got loud. The whole Dome went crazy once Tyus Battle drained a three at the beginning of the half, and the fans kept the momentum up. I haven't seen the Dome get this crazy since the football game against Clemson in 2017 (and I've been to almost every Dome game since). The fans were jumping, screaming, and pounding on the bleachers.

The basketball team was shooting their arrows after every three. Being there, you can really see how the team feeds off the energy of the Dome. When the fans perform, they perform.



Your browser does not support the video tag. I apologize for being the worst videographer ever... but can't you just feel that Dome energy?

As the lead flipped back and forth between the Hoyas and the Orange, the crowd's hype intensified. With 10 seconds to go, Cuse was down by 1, and Battle sealed the deal with a layup, putting the Orange ahead 72-71. It was such an amazing game to watch. Being stressed out about finals week was honestly nothing compared to the stress from this game!

Was Tyus's layup as cool as Gerry McNamara's game-winning buzzer-beater three-pointers against Georgetown in 2004? Probably not. But, it was still awesome nonetheless.

Being in the dome, in a sea of Orange tee shirts, with everyone screaming about your favorite team, gives you a sense of what it truly feels like to be Orange. Seeing Boeheim rip off his jacket, seeing Otto run around, and singing the Alma Mater at the end made it all the better. If you were at that game, you can see why it is pretty clear why Syracuse has been the #1 most school spirited school for three years in a row now.

'Cuse is such a great place, and Syracuse basketball rocks and this game just goes to prove both these things.

Let's go Orange! One rivalry down, one to go. Can 'Cuse stack against Duke?

Stay tuned.

#foreverorange

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To The Coach Who Ruined My Senior Year

Sports are supposed to fun, but because of you it was anything but fun.
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I entered my senior season with so much hope. I was filled with so much excitement. This was going to be my year. I couldn't wait I had one more year to wear that purple and gold and make my team proud. Make my family proud. I already had talked to the basketball coach at my potential college and she told me with enough work I had a shot. Even if it was only on reserve. I never told anyone because I didn't want to get my hopes up.

The season started and soon realized it wasn't going to be what I had hoped at all. I found myself dreading games and the humiliating walk out of the locker room when no one knew what to say anymore. I dreaded the embarrassment of only playing the last minute or not even getting to take my warm up off. That was something the JV players who sat the Varsity bench did. Not a full-time Varsity senior.

As I sat on that bench for the majority of the first half of the season I never felt so useless. I felt like a manager. My most important job was making sure coach had his clipboard for a timeout. He never noticed how this affected me. As I sit here writing this, I realized one thing. This will not define me. My life will not be rated on what I did in high school and if it is, then I have lived a sad life.

Maybe I'll never know why you did this to me l, but I'm a better person now because of it. Do I wish I hadn't played my Senior year? No. Do I wish it had gone differently? Heck yeah, but thanks to the crappy situation I learned not everything is going to go my way.

But I will never forget being told: "Just because you're a senior doesn't mean you'll get playing time." You know what, you were right. But that doesn't mean someone who works their butt off and is the team's hardest worker should sit the bench. Hard work should be rewarded not told they aren't good enough.

Sincerely,

#30

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Bucks V. Celtics Vol. 2: The Rise Of The Greek Freak

The clashing of Milwaukee and Boston is going to be one to remember.

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Boston is a fantastic sports city. The amount of championships achieved by clubs in Beantown is staggering. From the Celtics' 17 NBA titles to the Red Sox's nine World Series wins to the Bruins and Patriots each taking home the highest possible caliber hardware in six different instances, respectively, the city is not for want when it comes to such lofty team metrics as championship rings.

And with that history in mind, there is no denying that the Bucks-Celtics series is about to be among the most heavy-hitting of all those that are happening in the second round of the NBA playoffs.

The Bucks just won their first playoff series since 2001, dispatching the Detroit Pistons in four games. The Celtics are just trying to get back where they left off last year in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Meeting in the playoffs for the second consecutive time, the Bucks and Celtics went toe-to-toe last season in the opening round of the playoffs, where the number two seed Celtics needed seven games to dispense of Giannis Antetokounmpo and his number seven seed squad. Now, the tables have turned. The Bucks are number one in the East and overall in the league, being the only team to win 60 games this season. The Celtics are number four and have struggled at times, having difficulty finding a rhythm.

Bucks v. Celtics vol. 2 is going to be some ridiculously good entertainment.

Pundits and fans alike have debated back and forth for the last week or so about who will be the likely victor in this 2019 rematch. Giannis has size, power, and speed unlike anyone else. Kyrie Irving is basketball's best closer. Brook Lopez shoots the 3 unlike any other NBA big man. Al Horford's defense is electric.

As CBS Sports data scientist Stephen Oh calls it, this series is about as close to a coin flip as any there is.

Nate Silver and the folks at FiveThirtyEight happen to disagree. In fact, their models project a 77% probability that Milwaukee wins the series and advances to the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since that 2001 season.

It's hard to argue with that sentiment, despite what Boston Internet trolls might think. Milwaukee has been playing lights out all season. Giannis is almost sure to win the MVP award (provided James Harden's record-breaking offense doesn't do him in) and a 60-22 record is no small feat. The secret ingredient? New head coach Mike Budenholzer.

While Celtics fans are quick to point out that when the Celtics beat the Bucks and advanced to the Conference Finals last season, they did so without a healthy Kyrie Irving or Gordon Hayward. And while that is true, and while the composition of the Bucks' roster has largely stayed the same since then (the addition of Lopez, Nikola Mirotic, and Pau Gasol not withstanding) Budenholzer's coaching skills vastly outpace those of the departed Jason Kidd.

While Kidd was a chaotic force of nature, Budenholzer cuts himself of Gregg Popovich's cloth, serving 18 seasons under Coach Pop's regime in San Antonio before trying his own luck in Atlanta. And he found success there with the Hawks too, coaching them to an identical 60-22 record and number one seed in the 2014-15 season, ultimately losing in the Eastern Conference Finals.

And while Bostonians may be quick to point out Budenholzer's fall from the Hawks organization (exacerbated by departures of such players as Dwight Howard and Al Horford, currently of Boston) his latest stint with the Bucks has proved what he did in the Peach State was not a fluke. The man can coach.

Of course, his time in Brew City has been made that much sweeter by the rise of the Greek Freak. Now in his seventh year with the club, Giannis has gone from solid development piece to dominant forward in charge of one of the NBA's best collective three-point shooting gangs. His absolute ridiculousness inside the paint (see this dunk/layup thing he did against Detroit) only serves to open it up to such players as Eric Bledsoe and Khris Middleton (a 2019 All-Star alongside Giannis) beyond the arc. And if there's one place where Budenholzer's philosophy has been prominent, it's here: shoot threes. Shoot a lot of threes.

Which is not news to Irving and his Celtics. They faced the Bucks thrice in the regular season, losing that series 2-1. They're hoping this time is different. Irving's stats this season have largely fallen in line with his career averages, shooting 48.7% on field goals and 40.1% on three-pointers. And he especially found his groove against the Indiana Pacers in the Celtics' last series, despite the fact that they never beat them by more than 10 points in the series sweep.

Will that be enough to beat Giannis and co.? As much may depend on defense, and the collective efforts of young Celtics like Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown to stop the unstoppable Freak.

In short, the question remains: what happens when such an unstoppable force meets an immovable object? Whether it's a 50-50 chance or a 77-23, one thing's for sure: this matchup is about to be one of titanic proportions.

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