It is the most wonderful time of the year for fans of No. 3 Maryland basketball, and this year, it got even better with the renewal of the throwback rivalry which is Maryland/Georgetown basketball. While it was a close game, the Terps pulled out a big win. While each school has a story about why the old school rivalry wasn’t continued through the years, both schools have agreed that they’d like to keep in up going forward.
The Washington Post reports that Maryland simply outlasted Georgetown with a deeper bench than the Terps have had in a long time.
“It was clear that Tuesday night’s game, the first to be played between these two schools on Washington-area soil since 1993, was far from normal. Tickets on the secondary market were going for nearly $150. Students began lining up outside Xfinity Center five hours before the game. Legends from the program’s past — Len Elmore, Walt Williams, Gary Williams, Joe Smith — all attended and provided an air of nostalgia. Members from the last four teams that beat Georgetown were honored on the court, receiving an ovation before returning to their seats.”
In a serious flashback, there was a John Thompson on the Georgetown side, but now it’s John Thompson III, who coached his heart out last night.
But interest in the game went far beyond the D.C. beltway, according to the New York Times. The final score of 75-71 belies the intensity of the game, which seriously rocked the house.
“The defeat was especially distasteful for the Hoyas because it came against Maryland. But coach John Thompson III realized after watching the teams go after each other in a clean game that this rivalry is very good for the Washington area.”
Thompson felt defeated, but in the long run, he believes it is a great thing for regional basketball.
“As bad as I feel — we feel — right now, hopefully in the long run, this will help us out,” he said. “It’s good for Georgetown.”
Journeyman guard/forward Jake Layman was good for 15 points, while new addition Robert Carter was in it for 12 points.
The University of Maryland sports daily, Testudo Times, quoted Terp star by way of Duke University Rasheed Sulaimon as saying that Terps fans are “the best in the world,” which means a lot when coming from a guy who witnessed the Cameron Crazies at Duke for three years.
“Now I’m on this side I can officially say it, but they’re the best fans in the world,” Sulaimon proclaimed after Maryland’s 75-71 win over Georgetown.
Sulaimon believes that the way the game unfolded was epic.
“For many Terps fans, and for many Hoya fans this was a highly anticipated match-up, one that rekindled an old rivalry started many years ago. Perhaps the rivalry has fizzled out over the past few decades, and maybe even the hype was a bit forced, but hell, that didn’t stop me from almost going into cardiac arrest last night.”
Many of the players said that they were playing the game not for themselves, but for all of the “old-timers” who had a lot mentally invested in the game.
Take it from head coach Mark Turgeon, “We were playing for more than us tonight. We were playing for all those people. What a big relief.”
Maryland Terrapins basketball is currently ranked No. 3 in the NCAA, and more great Big 10 basketball lies ahead.
Do you think Maryland Basketball can maintain their No. 3 position?
[Photo by Patrick Semansky/AP Images]