Georgetown basketball plays Syracuse just once, on the road, in 2011-12 season


The Hoyas and the Orange met last Feb. 26 at Verizon Center; there will be no such meeting on Georgetown’s home court next season. (John McDonnell/THE WASHINGTON POST)
June 30, 2011

Georgetown used creative marketing tactics in February to freeze Syracuse fans out of Verizon Center. This winter, the school won’t have to worry about it.

The Hoyas face the Orange only once in 2011-12, and that meeting will happen at Carrier Dome, according to the schedule released Thursday.

Although it might seem odd for the Big East’s biggest rivals to meet only once in the regular season, it actually hasn’t been too uncommon in recent years. The schools contested a home-and-home series the past four seasons but played only one time in the regular season from the 2004 through 2007. (Teams in the 16-member Big East play 12 opponents once and three opponents twice.)

The Big East uses a custom computer program to assist in generating its schedule. League officials also weigh factors such as rivalries, geography, projections from coaches and television contract obligations.

“Every year, there are different projected strengths [for teams] and we’re trying to balance it as much as we can,” said Tom Odjakjian, the conference’s associate commissioner. “The only tool we have is trying to split the home and aways, and the repeats, as fairly as we can so we can group like teams as best as possible with a similar schedule.”

Odjakjian guaranteed that Syracuse will play at Verizon Center in the 2012-13 season, regardless of whether the rivals face each other once or twice.

Syracuse’s visit to Verizon Center is easily the most anticipated game of the regular season for Hoyas fans and the legion of Orange supporters living in the Washington area. Last season’s contest on F Street was the subject of a minor controversy after Georgetown stepped up its efforts to keep tickets out of the hands of Orange fans. Those efforts resulted in a mostly blue-and-gray capacity crowd — and thousands of upset Syracuse alums.

While Georgetown won’t face Syracuse in the District next season, the Hoyas will host Cincinnati, Connecticut, Marquette, Notre Dame, Providence, Rutgers, St. John’s, South Florida and Villanova. The Hoyas will travel to DePaul, Louisville, Marquette, Pittsburgh, Providence, St. John’s, Seton Hall and West Virginia in addition to the trip to Syracuse.

Dates and start times will be announced later this summer.

Georgetown also will participate in the Maui Invitational in November and travel to Alabama as part of the Big East/Southeastern Conference challenge on Dec. 1.

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