Fans desiring a Georgetown-Maryland regular season matchup have been teased and fooled many times over the years. Perhaps the latest buzz involving their respective conferences will be nothing more than that. On the other hand, dare to dream folks, dare to dream.
On Sunday, the Big East issued a statement announcing a joint press conference with the Big Ten for Monday at Madison Square Garden. No specifics were included in the release other than that the conference commissioners and selected head coaches would attend - along with the great (my term) Bill Raftery.
Moments later, came this from Kevin McNamara with the Providence Journal:
Big East and Big Ten will begin a series to tip off season beginning in 2015-16 at campus sites. Event to honor Hall of Famer Dave Gavitt.— Kevin McNamara (@KevinMcNamara33) May 4, 2014
All of us in this area understand which potential matchup could logically take place and I don't mean Butler-Indiana, though that too: The first regular season scheduled meeting between the Hoyas and Terps since 1993*.
According to SI.com, the event would be eight games over four days and "will take place each November from Tuesday through Friday of the first full week of the season."
One potential wrinkle - beyond the long history of disagreement between the two sides - is that matchups in these types of challenges are often based on standings projections rather than geography.
Now, the report says the games wouldn't start until the 2015-16 season. That's fine, but news of a Hoyas-Terps clash would be helpful to both programs right now.
Georgetown is coming off an NCAA Tournament-less season and an uninspiring home schedule in its first season in the prominent, but less sexy Big East.
Meanwhile Maryland, which has yet to reach the NCAA's in three seasons under coach Mark Turgeon, is dealing with transfer-palooza. The Terps are also prepping for their first season in the Big Ten, a move some alumni and other interested parties still question.
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Perhaps the true beauty of this potential (and still way too early to project but we're doing it anyway) game is the matchmaker aspect. Good soldiers just following league and television orders as opposed to stomaching one side dictating to the other.
Both fan bases are excited about their incoming recruiting classes, which are respectively ranked among the top-10 nationally. That's important, but on some level we're talking a sugar high. Passion that comes with facing Georgetown or Maryland, that's for life, though admittedly the series has lost some pop in the post John Thompson Jr./Gary Williams era.
As for where the game would take place, the only neutral site is Verizon Center. We can debate this forever - and it feels like I have - but it's the truth. The crowd would be close to a 50-50 split while Comcast Center would be a sea of red. It's all about fan base size and geography.
Then again, if this becomes an annual series, maybe they just alternate arenas each year and do so between watching pigs fly. Crazy talk or not, dare to dream.
*While we're at it, here's what the entire challenge could look like starting with the obvious geography-based matchups:
Butler-Indiana (or Purdue)
DePaul-Illinois (or Northwestern)
St. John's-Michigan State
*That initially leaves out Iowa, Minnesota, Purdue and Northwestern on the Big 10 side.
**Have to assume Michigan and Michigan State are involved for TV purposes, especially with a possible game at MSG against St. John's.
***Not sure what the world looks like in two seasons, but if we're talking headliners versus headliners, it's easy to imagine say Georgetown-Michigan, Villanova-Indiana, St. John's-Michigan State as possible matchups, along with the already mentioned MU-Wis and Xav-OSU.