COLLEGE PARK, Md. (WJZ/AP) — From celebrations to riots. There’s a history of things getting out of hand when the University of Maryland men’s basketball team faces their big rival, Duke. This year, the school and police are trying to keep the peace. Kelly McPherson has more on the big game.
The bars along U.S. Route 1 in College Park are packed with Maryland fans decked out in red and ready for
the Terps to beat rival Duke in basketball. Unfortunately, that didn’t work out so well for Terps fans.
Kyle Singler scored 22 points, Nolan Smith had 21 and No. 5 Duke defeated Maryland 80-62 on Wednesday
night to avoid its first losing streak in nearly two years.
Playing in front of a boisterous sellout crowd against one of their biggest rivals, the Blue Devils relied on their two best players to dispatch the Terrapins. Singler and Smith combined to score Duke’s first 16 points of the second half to make it 56-43 with 12 minutes left, which proved to be too much a deficit for the cold-shooting Terrapins to overcome.
The victory gave Duke (20-2, 7-1 ACC) a season sweep of Maryland (14-8, 4-4). Duke has won eight of the last nine games between the teams and four of the last six at Comcast Center.
The Blue Devils were coming off a lopsided loss to St. John’s. Duke hasn’t dropped two straight since Feb. 11-15, 2009, to North Carolina and Boston College.
Fans’ celebrations after a home victory over the Blue Devils last year spawned confrontations with officers in riot gear. Police are adding extra officers in the college town ahead of Wednesday night’s game and the school planned structured events including a postgame bonfire.
Before the game, two members of the football team grabbed a mike and preached good sportsmanship to the crowd at the Comcast Center. Also, ESPN’s Scott Van Pelt — a Maryland grad — delivered a taped message to the crowd asking them to behave.
Officers were out on the streets, waiting for the game to end and the students to hit the streets. They’re hoping more will go to the bonfire.
The Duke-Maryland game has an infamous reputation.
“A lot of people go crazy,” said one.
The last game ended in a riot, fire, property damage, drunk students in the street and a video of police beating one student.
“More cops, patrolling around constantly and making sure everyone’s safe,” said one.
Students received staggered times to enter the rally and game. Students say what happens in the streets depends on who wins.
“It’s really celebrating a win and it turns into a riot when police get involved,” said a fan.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)