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CAA final is Georgetown-Maryland, by proxy

(Photos by Scott K. Brown - AP)

There are at least four fascinating subtexts to Monday night's CAA final between Old Dominion and William & Mary.

1) Battle for the 757. Watch the ballers like Iverson and Vick line up to take sides.

2) William & Mary were a king and queen, and yet Old Dominion is the Monarchs. Mull on that over your morning coffee.

3) Coaches Blaine Taylor (Old Dominion) and Tony Shaver (William & Mary) unquestionably sport two of the finer mustaches in Division I basketball. To have both on the court, with an NCAA tournament berth on the line, will keep the nation's lip furnaces humming. If the CAA had any sense at all, they'd pass out fake mustaches to the first 6,000 fans.

4) Maryland vs. Georgetown.

And this is really why I'm posting this item. Maryland has only one loss this season to a non-BCS school: at home, in late December, against William & Mary. Georgetown has only one loss this season to a non-BCS school: at home, in late December, against Old Dominion. Which loss will hold up better on a tourney resume? Find out Monday night.

And this isn't just me here; some Terps and Hoyas supporters have actually argued, in Bog comments, about which loss was a more acceptable blemish. I can see both sides; Old Dominion has a better record, a better RPI and two head-to-head wins over William & Mary. But early in the season, when they beat the Terps, William & Mary won 10 straight, including one over Richmond. Just before their win over Georgetown, on the other hand, the Monarchs lost four of six, including one to Richmond. ODU had a better season, but W&M was hotter in December.

And you know what's ridiculous? That we have to watch the CAA final to pass a measure of head-to-head Georgetown-Maryland judgment. A non-sports fan asked me the other day why those schools don't play each other. My answer was so stupid that he couldn't even understand what I was saying. To not play over pettiness is one thing; to not play over decades-old pettiness is quite another.

So sure, choose your sides on Monday evening, Terps and Hoyas administrators, but for the love of mustaches, find a way to work this stupid thing out so your battles don't have to be fought on mid-major courts.

By Dan Steinberg  |  March 8, 2010; 10:33 AM ET
Categories:  College Basketball , Terps  
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Posted by: Barno1 | March 8, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Did John Feinstein pay you to post this article? There is no chance in H-ll they are ever going to play again while Gary Williams is still the coach at Maryland (unless the Patriot Center becomes the "neutral site" in DC in which they could play)

Posted by: Hoya4Life | March 8, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Another great subtext is that ODU wouldn't exist without WM. ODU was established in 1930 as the Norfolk Division of William & Mary. Who's your daddy, ODU???

Of course on the basketball floor, that chant doesn't really apply, because the Monarchs have pretty much owned the Tribe since Mr. Naismith was chucking balls into peach buckets.

Here's hoping that WM can pull an upset for the ages and burst another team's NCAA bubble.

Posted by: crsiggy | March 8, 2010 1:27 PM | Report abuse

I think it's pretty clear why GU and Maryland don't play each other.



Who cares if it was a long time ago. Georgetown obviously has no honor because they won't come to Maryland to play.

Now was that so hard Pressbell??

Posted by: Jaymand | March 8, 2010 1:34 PM | Report abuse

oh, sorry Dan S. I guess you probably weren't around then.

Many Terps fans have grown tired of the JT and the JTIII show over the years. The constant kissing up by the WAPO reporters and local press in an attempt to get air time on the JT show. Never a crtical word towards the GU program. Coupled with the constant berating and doubting of Gary Williams - after a while it just starts to leave a bad taste in your mouth.

Posted by: Jaymand | March 8, 2010 1:39 PM | Report abuse

Don't forget the story line that W&M has never made the NCAA Tourney. We made the NIT in 1983 though.

Posted by: CrimsonTribe | March 8, 2010 1:40 PM | Report abuse

It all goes back to that GU-UM game in 1993 at US Airways arena, GU's home court at the time. Georgetown set it up a certain way on purpose so that years later they could resist UM's and Gary's demand that the next game be played at UM's home court. GU positioned this game from many angles as a neutral court, or non-home, game: GU season ticket holders, while given purchase priority ahead of the general public, were not given their usual full-season seats (priority seating was split 50-50 with Maryland: UM got one half of the building, GU got the other half, literally splitting the sections in half); GU wore navy blue (away) uniforms and were listed on the score sheet as the away team, although it kept its usual bench; This was all a plan steered by Big John to derail a return match as he was dragged kicking and screaming into this game, lured by the only commodity he understands: money. Then, when the game only drew only 13,000 (on the day after Thanksgiving with most of DC and students out of town), he disengenuously announced that there was no substantial local interest in any GU-UM game.

For Gary's part, he wasn't buying GU's or JT's scam, and has insisted that any next game must be at UM since the first game was at GU, whether GU wants to recognize that or not. But, would Gary be willing to allow the same ticketing that was allowed in '93? Would UM move students and alums out of their prime seats and allow GU hoop club members access, the way GU did in '93? Doubtful, so this game isn't happenin' until both Gary and Big John are no longer around.

Posted by: lgm6986 | March 8, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

It's not the fault of Maryland that GU doesn't have a decent arena on campus. The Terps played GU on their home floor. Joe Smith put up 26 points playing against the highly touter Othella Harrington and Duane Simpkins hit the game winner in overtime. One of the greatest wins in Gary Williams career.

So, I'm sure if JTIII could man up and abide by GU's orginal agreement and play on Maryland's home floor, then fans could be rewarded with a annual Washington event between two of the areas powerhouse basketball programs.

But we all know JTTT doesn't have it in him. Too bad for the fans.

Posted by: Jaymand | March 8, 2010 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Fun Fact:

UMD is 12.7 Miles away from the Cap Centre

GU is 21.0 Miles away from the Cap Centre.

Posted by: VTDuffman | March 8, 2010 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Oh, and as someone with no dog in this fight, both programs should get over themselves and just play in the VZ Center every year. Everyone needs to stop being tools.

Posted by: VTDuffman | March 8, 2010 3:22 PM | Report abuse

The VZ center is GUs home court.

That ain't gonna happen - tool.

Posted by: Jaymand | March 8, 2010 4:44 PM | Report abuse

the Cap Centre or U.S. Air areana are no longer around

Posted by: heathdog1119 | March 8, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Hmmm, I seem to recall the last time these two teams met, on a neutral court, Georgetown used Beavis Vasquez as a mop to wipe up all of Gary's sweat on the floor and won by a ridiculously large margin that the Hoyas never even beat St. Leo's by. Do we really want to see that every year?

But you go on and keep living in that Joe Smith era, UMCP fans. Georgetown'll just have to be happy with winning all of the important local recruiting battles.

Posted by: etpietro | March 10, 2010 7:52 PM | Report abuse

Georgetown was willing to replay the game @ Maryland if they used the same splitting of tickets and Gary refused. That's why the series was not continued and has not been picked up. It's Gary's fault not anyone else. He's the one not honoring his agreement. JTIII was willing to play Maryland in the BB&T Gry refused until the game was returned. JTIII said fine we can play a home and home starting at your place. Still said not good enough, wants his home game first, but refuses to split the tickets. If Georgetown Owes Maryland a game then it's @ comcast with the tickets split and Georgetown wearing the home jerseys.

Posted by: HoyaSinceBirth | March 10, 2010 7:57 PM | Report abuse

Oh and ODU>>>>>>>>>>W&M

Posted by: HoyaSinceBirth | March 10, 2010 7:58 PM | Report abuse

Maryland fans continue to perpetuate the most ridiculous argument. Home court matters in two respects: the fans who are there to support the team and the money the program gets from the game. In both of these instances, Maryland got a very good deal. There were more Maryland fans by far, and they got half the gate. So Georgetown got to play on their home floor and they got to sit on their own bench - big deal.

As someone else pointed out, the game was over t'giving break - all of the Georgetown students were home (in New York/New Jersey) while Maryland students were home IN MARYLAND. That's why the place was packed with Maryland fans and why calling it a neutral court game is generous to Maryland. The atmosphere there was anything but neutral.

So spare me the argument that Georgetown owes them anything. If they ever owed them anything after that game, it was revenge on the loss, and they got that in spades last year.

But the real reason that Georgetown and Maryland won't play? Georgetown has nothing to gain. Georgetown has been the clearly superior team in recent years and has been dominating the local recruiting battles. With Maryland struggling to remain relevant, Georgetown has nothing to gain by playing them.

Posted by: BillBarker1 | March 10, 2010 9:26 PM | Report abuse

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