WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Back in 1980, John Thompson Jr. coached Georgetown to the first regular season title in Big East history.
Now 34 seasons later, John Thompson III directed the Hoyas to a title in the conference's final year by thumping Syracuse, the program's fiercest and now departing rival.
The ending of the conference is not what either Thompson desired. The same goes for Jim Boeheim, the coach who led Syracuse during the school's entire Big East existence.
No. 5 Georgetown's 61-39 victory on Saturday, the actual capper to the series as conference opponents and this regular season, is a triumphant conclusion approved by both Thompsons, father and son.
"Right now, this one feels nicer than any of the rest of them," the current Hoyas coach said after claiming his third title in nine seasons at Georgetown and sixth as a head coach.
"It's special because the Big East as we have known it is ending. Georgetown won the first one, now Georgetown won the last. That means a lot."
Then a booming voice spoke up from the back of the postgame press conference.
"Kiss Syracuse goodbye," bellowed John Thompson Jr., the man who steered the program into national prominence with three Final Four appearances and the 1984 national championship.
Boeheim surely wishes memories of this game, one with Syracuse scoring its fewest points since 1962, could disappear from his memory bank quickly.
"I don't think of one game, if you think of one game, that's not it," Boeheim said after the loss. "It's been a 30-plus-year rivalry and it's been good.
" ... It's been a great rivalry it's been pretty competitive, this was probably one of the least competitive games. We've had a few like this, but not too many."
Syracuse holds the all-time series lead 48-41.
With the Orange headed to the Atlantic Coast Conference next season, the 68-year-old Boeheim sounded like a coach perhaps not planning for many more games of any kind.
"Well, you know, I'm pretty much ready to go play golf somewhere," Boeheim said while reflecting on the end of the Big East. "If was 40 years old, I'd be real upset. I'm not 40 years old. That should be obvious, though."
Markel Starks scored 19 points and D'Vauntes Smith had 15 for the Hoyas (24-5, 14-4 iBig East), who took control of the highly anticipated and emotional clash with a 20-6 run in the second half.
Otto Porter, who had 33 points in Georgetown's 57-46 victory at Syracuse in February, scored 10 points and matched his career-high with seven assists.
Georgetown held Syracuse to season-lows in total points, first half scoring and field goal percentage.
The Hoyas capped the regular season by winning 12 of the last 13 games. The Georgetown students capped the game by storming the court.
Michael Carter-Williams scored 17 points for the Orange (23-8, 11-7), who shot 31.9 percent from the field and 1 of 11 from beyond the 3-point line.
Syracuse has lost four of its last five games.
The Hoyas finished in a three-way tie for first place in the Big East with No. 8 Louisville and No. 15 Marquette, also winners on Saturday. Georgetown owns the tiebreakers among the three and will be the No. 1 seed in next week's conference tournament.
"We came into the season with a goal, and obviously a portion of the goal has been accomplished," Starks said. "But at the same time, we still have a lot more of the season to play. But this means a lot."
Part of a basketball seven-school alliance with other current Big East schools, Georgetown will split off from the conference's football schools while keeping the Big East name.
The Hoyas led 25-18 at halftime despite only two points from Porter. Starks and Smith-Rivera combined for 19 points in the first half.
Georgetown was ahead 32-25 early in the second half when Porter's first basket of the game ignited the decisive spurt before the raucous crowd of 20,972, the largest ever for a college basketball game in the greater Washington, D.C., area.
Starks drained two of his five 3-pointers during the stretch and Smith-Rivera's jumper with 7:21 remaining put the Hoyas ahead 52-31, leading to the Georgetown students chanting "A-C-C, A-C-C."
Georgetown overcame an 0-2 start in conference play and the loss of second-leading scorer Greg Whittington because of an academic suspension.
Asked how his team conquered such obstacles, Thompson said: "First of all, this group, they listen. They believe in each other. They believe in me. And if you have that, it's easy to figure things out."
In the game's final minutes, the elder Thompson rose from seat along the baseline near Georgetown's bench, holding a blue and gray scarf above his head.
The gesture drew thunderous approval from the full-throated faithful, but the act was also directed at the Orange-clad fans Thompson playfully sparred with during his years on the sideline.
"They expect me to, so I don't disappoint," the former coach said. "But, I have a great deal of respect for that program. That program and us competing against one another has meant an awful lot."
NOTES: Georgetown last swept Syracuse during the 2001-02 season. ... The Orange entered the day tied for fourth in the conference with Notre Dame and Pittsburgh. The top four seeds in the conference tournament receive a double bye into the quarterfinals. ... Georgetown alums at the Verizon Center for the series finale included Patrick Ewing and Alonzo Mourning.