On Saturday night, the Maryland Terrapins will visit Cameron Indoor Stadium to face the Duke Blue Devils in a nationally televised college hoops contest. Unless these two schools meet in the ACC Tournament, it will be the final time they will face each other as members of the same conference. As we all know, Maryland is heading to the Big 10. This could be the end of a rivalry that goes back decades.
And no one seems to notice.
From 1999 to 2004, Maryland vs. Duke was–arguably–the most heated matchup in college basketball. Broken streaks, ACC Championship games, miracle comebacks and Final Four appearances all took place during this run of hoops hysteria. Maryland-Duke was must-see entertainment for basketball fans everywhere.
Unfortunately, the rivalry has lost most of it’s luster.
While Duke maintains it’s powerhouse status, Maryland has fallen by the wayside.
Since 2004, the Blue Devils have been regular participants in the NCAA Tournament. They’ve made two Final Fours and won a National Title in 2010. For Maryland, it has been an inconsistent decade. The Terps haven’t been to a Sweet 16 since 2003 and haven’t even made the Big Dance since 2010.
One of the more exciting aspects of Maryland vs. Duke was the dynamic between the two Head Coaches. Maryland’s Gary Williams against Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski. While the two men have great respect for one another, there was no denying the tension when the two schools met.
As Krzyzewski keeps on rolling, Garyland retired after the 2011 season.
The 8th-ranked Blue Devils are once again headed to the NCAA’s and will probably be a tough out. The Terps are going to have to accumulate some wins just to get on the bubble.
I expect Duke to roll Maryland on Saturday night. The Blue Devils have won seven out of eight and are playing their best basketball of the season. Maryland, on the other hand, can’t play 40 minutes of consistent hoops on either end of the court.
The Terps did, however, beat Duke twice in 2013. So, anything is possible.
I’ll be glued to my television hoping for the Maryland upset. Sadly, most of the nation will not have the same interest.
That wasn’t the case not so long ago.