Maryland-Duke, Where have you gone?

Jan 23, 2009, 4:59 PM

I was looking at the start time for tomorrow afternoon’s Maryland-Duke game and noticed that it was scheduled for a noon tipoff. It got me thinking about how this “rivalry” has really dropped off a bit in the last few years. I say rivalry in quotes due to the fact that Duke doesn’t really dislike Maryland the way they hate Carolina.

Anyways I can remember back in the early part of this decade when seemed as if every Terps-Blue Devils game had that “big game” feel and would be the ESPN Wednesday or Saturday night game of the week. The games are still intense, don’t get me wrong, but it just seems that the games in the past few years have failed to live up to the ones that took place in 2000, ’01, ’02, ’03 and the ’04 ACC Championship Game…all of which were classics.

One of the reasons the rivalry has dipped has to be the fact that Maryland hasn’t held their end of the bargain. Duke is always high in the rankings. Maryland however didn’t receive a single vote in the latest AP and Coaches Polls. The games have added importance and the stakes are higher when you had two top 20, or top 10 teams battling it out. It doesn’t seem as special anymore when Duke is the easy favorite.

That being said, if and when the Terps do pull off the upset against Duke, it will be a bit more satisfying. But personally as a fan of the team I’d rather have Maryland have a high ranking each year, lose to Duke, and go deep in the NCAA Tourny. Rather than be unranked, occasionally upset a Duke or Carolina, lose to teams like Ohio, American, and Morgan State…AT HOME, and not make the Tourny at all. That last part is what the past few seasons have felt like being a Maryland fan. They play up to the Duke’s of the world but can’t win a BB&T Classic in their own backyard.

So enough of that. Tomorrow at Cameron Indoor Stadium, number two ranked Duke will host Maryland on ESPN. It should be a competitive game and as you can tell by my rant, I would love for it to be a classic.


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