Georgetown-Syracuse wasn't just a basketball rivalry. It used to be the basketball rivalry.
Towering coaches Jim Boeheim and John Thompson stalked the sidelines. Legendary players such as Patrick Ewing and Pearl Washington made their mark in Madison Square Garden every March.
The Hoyas and Orange combined to win seven of the 10 Big East tournaments in the 1980s. There was a wrinkle to that rivalry, however, heading into their fifth head-to-head Big East championship match on March 15, 1992.
Syracuse had never beat Georgetown in the Big East final.
The Hoyas were 4-0 against Syracuse at that point, with victories in 1980, 1984, 1987 and 1989. That set up their final Big East championship in 1992.
Georgetown — led by future NBA star Alonzo Mourning — was the No. 2 seed in the Big East tournament. The Hoyas beat Miami and St. John's to reach the championship game. Led by Dave Johnson and Lawrence Moten, Syracuse beat Villanova and upset No. 1 seed Seton Hall in the semifinals. The Hoyas and Orange split two regular-season meetings.
'Go out and try to create'
The teams played a typical-defensive game and were knotted at 54 when Dave Johnson spun into the lane and lofted a jumper over Mourning with 3.8 seconds left.
"Coach [Jim Boeheim] said go out and try to create," Johnson said via the Washington Post. "I wanted it. It was my last Big East game, and there's a lot of prestige in winning this tournament."
Robert Churchwell's desperation 3-pointer didn't fall, and Syracuse had its first head-to-head victory against Georgetown in the Big East championship game.
1992 Big East Tournament Championship flashback Syracuse vs Georgetown Dave Johnson with the game winner. cc: @vintagesportstv pic.twitter.com/jkEOSuwk5i
— Big East Hoops 24/7 (@BigEastTourney) March 19, 2017
Mourning was named the Big East tournament MVP despite playing on the losing team. The Hoyas lost 78-68 to Florida State in the second round of the NCAA tournament. Syracuse lost 77-71 to UMass — led by fourth-year coach John Calipari — in the second round.
The Big East rivals never met again in the championship game. Syracuse beat Georgetown 58-55 in their final Big East tournament meeting in 2013.
This game is hard to find on YouTube, and it's one we'd like to watch. We would love to see it again.