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News releases from Georgetown and Maryland made it official: the two schools will meet Nov. 17 as part of the Gavitt Tip-Off Games.
An article in the Washington Post looks back at the recent games in the series, but many of today's fans might be surprised to learn that the game was not the toughest ticket in town.
The schools moved its series to Capital Centre in 1974--but that first game drew just 5,623. The last game in the series in Landover drew just 8,100 as part of a doubleheader with Navy and American, and the game was then moved to the D.C. Armory in 1979, with only 6,905 in attendance. The November 1993 game at Capital Centre which Maryland fans long remember as a breakthrough game for coach Gary Williams drew 13,761, or about two-thirds capacity.
The upcoming two game series will have no worries about empty seats, however.
For the first time in 42 years, the Georgetown Hoyas will play at the University of Maryland in a two game series as part of the Gavitt-Tip Off Games, a challenge series between the Big East and Big Ten Conference, according to numerous reports.
The two teams will meet the week at a date to be announced between Nov. 17-20 at Xfinity (nee Comcast) Center on the Maryland campus, with a return game at Verizon Center scheduled in the 2016-17 season.
The Hoyas last played at College Park on Dec. 11, 1973, a 115-83 loss to the #4-ranked Terrapins at Cole Field House. The teams moved the series to Capital Centre in Landover, MD through 1978, then met in 1979 at the D.C. Armory before ending their series after the 1979-80 season. The teams met in a 1993 game in Landover, the 2001 NCAA regional semifinal in Anaheim, CA, and most recent in the 2008 Old Spice Classic in Orlando, FL. The Terrapins hold a 36-27 lead in a series that began when the Maryland Agricultural College was routed by Georgetown 55-3 in the 1907-08 season.
Efforts to restart the series were a running subplot through two generations of D.C. area basketball. The 1980-81 game was ostensibly shelved as Georgetown began a full Big East schedule, but by the arrival of Patrick Ewing in 1981, both sides distanced from any further games. The schools did meet on Nov. 26, 1993, an 84-83 overtime win before 13,761 fans that was seen as the turning point of the Gary Williams era that eventually led the Terrapins to the 2002 NCAA title. Despite being the home team in the neutral site game, Williams insisted through the remainder of his coaching tenure that he would not schedule a return game unless the Hoyas played in College Park, which Georgetown declined.
In 2012, Maryland athletic director Kevin Anderson decreed that no Maryland teams would be allowed to schedule Georgetown in any intercollegiate spotty without game in College Park. The move was seen by the public and media as counterproductive, and Anderson reversed his position without comment a year later. The Hoyas and Terrapins met in men's soccer and women's lacrosse in 2014-15.
"Would Georgetown and Maryland have scheduled one another by now if not for Anderson's all-or-nothing approach?" asked CSN Washington's Ben Standig earlier this season. "There are no absolutes in this realm, [but] by my sense of the scene is yes."
Neither school has commented on the reports. Additional links follow below:
The remaining games in the 2015-16 Gavitt Tip Off-Games:
- Nebraska at Villanova
- St. John's at Rutgers (MSG)
- Illinois at Providence
- Creighton at Indiana
- Xavier at Michigan
- Penn State at DePaul
- Iowa at Marquette
As always, prior stories over this past week or the last 15+ years of coverage can be found at the News Archive pages, including recaps of all prior games over the season. It's a good way to keep up to date if you've visit the site less frequently. The last 10 stories:
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