Georgetown-Maryland: A Local Rivalry Renewed

Brett GellmanCorrespondent INovember 29, 2008

While it is Rivalry Week in the world of college football, several early-season tournaments are already underway in college hoops.  

The Old Spice Classic is one of the more noteworthy events due to its loaded field of participants, two of which include local programs Georgetown and Maryland.

Because the Terps fell to Gonzaga while the Hoyas lost to Tennessee on Saturday, these two storied teams will meet tomorrow night in the consolation game at 5:30 PM on ESPN2.  

Who knew a game for third place would be so exciting all of a sudden?

The last time the Terps played the Hoyas was in the 2001 Sweet Sixteen. The Terrapins ultimately pulled off the victory and marched their way towards the program's first Final Four. 

It was the first time the two teams had squared off against one another since 1993, and another 13 years prior to that. 

Before 1980, Georgetown and Maryland used to play each other every season. 

Many fans recall that game in '93 as the turning point for Maryland basketball following the aftermath of the Len Bias tragedy. 

On the night after Thanksgiving, the Terps faced the 15th ranked Hoyas in a nationally-televised game at the now-defunct US Air Arena (a.k.a. Capital Centre) in Landover, Georgetown's home court at the time (though the site may as well have been called neutral with the large number of Maryland fans in attendance). 

The rest, as they say, is history, as Duane Simpkins made the game-winning layup with 3.5 seconds left in overtime. It was Gary Williams' first marquee win since returning to his alma mater as the Terrapins' head coach and put Maryland back on the basketball map while making Joe Smith a household name

Excluding their 2001 meeting, Maryland and Georgetown have not played each other in more than 15 years. 

The topic has been discussed many times as to why these teams have not played since, but fate has brought the two programs back together come Sunday evening.

Obviously, things have changed as the Hoyas have dominated the local scene as of late while the Terps have failed to reach the NCAA Tournament three out of the last four years. 

Georgetown has also made themselves a presence in the Big East under Coach John Thompson III, while the Terps have been stuck in middle-of-the pack status in the ACC after their National Championship run in 2002.

It is a shame that only through a select series of events in Orlando has given us this desired matchup instead of it being an annual event of some sort. 

The Hoyas were supposed to play at Cole Field House the following season after the '93 upset but things got muddled in the process and the rivalry halted from thereon out. 

Georgetown has also never played in the BB&T Classic since its inception in 1995, a tournament which has featured essentially every other local program in the area, from George Washington to Howard.

Sunday night, however, Hoyas and Terps fans can rejoice in seeing this local rivalry renewed, at least for one evening.

What do you think?  Would a Georgetown-Maryland rivalry excite you?  Would you want to see these teams battle it out each season