College Hoops Player of the Day for Wednesday, February 20, 2013
The Big East will break apart at the end of this season, but there's no lack of enthusiasm as old foes meet for what may be the last times.
Upcoming is an epic meeting between Syracuse and Georgetown, a rivalry that dates back decades, including the likes of coaches John Thompson and Jim Boeheim (still coaching) and players as diverse as Patrick Ewing, Carmello Anthony, Rony Seikaly and many others.
Both teams were in action Wednesday night, tuning up for the showdown for first place this Saturday at the Carrier Dome.
The Orange rode 20 points and 11 rebounds by C.J. Fair to an 84-59 rout of Providence, improving the Syracuse mark to 10-3 in the conference.
Georgetown was also on the winning end, whipping DePaul, 90-66, behind D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera's 33 points, a career high for the freshman guard.
Smith-Riavera came off the bench, as he has in all of Georgetown's games this season, to hit 10 of 12 from the field, including a 5-for-6 mark from three-point range. He also canned eight of 10 from the foul line and added three rebounds, an assist and a steal.
The Hoyas improved to 10-3 in conference play, tying Syracuse and Marquette for the top spot in the Big East.
Saturday's contest in Syracuse may be the last meeting between the two for some time, as Syracuse will move to the ACC next season. The game, which tips off at 4:00 pm, is already a sell-out, and will likely set a record for the largest crowd ever to witness an on-campus, regular season NCAA game, estimated at 35,012. The Hoyas are ranked #11 in the AP Poll; Syracuse checks in at #8.
NOTABLE: The Big 12 has heated up, as #9 Kansas valiantly tries to record its ninth straight regular season title. On Wednesday, the Jayhawks had to go to double overtime to defeat #14 Oklahoma State, 68-67, tying them with Kansas State at 10-3, for the conference lead. Kansas has already beaten the Wildcats twice and has a chance of running the table, with five regular season games remaining.
#21 Memphis was an 81-74 winner over Houston, extending the nation's longest winning streak to 17 games and a 12-0 mark in Conference USA. The 23-3 Tigers haven't felt the sting of defeat since a 87=78 loss at Louisville on December 15.