The Gavitt Tipoff Games became official in the spring when the Big Ten and the Big East announced that they would be holding this annual eight-game series between the two conferences.
The way it works is simple: during the first full week of college basketball’s regular season, there will be two games a night for four nights — Tuesday through Friday — that pit a Big East program against a Big Ten team. It will be done to honor Dave Gavitt, one of the driving forces behind the formation of the Big East back in the late 1970s. Gavitt passed away in 2011.
It’s a really good idea for an event if for no reason other than the fact that we always need more quality early season matchups. But the kicker here is that some of the potential matchups that we are looking at simply ooze intrigue, none more than the chance to get Georgetown and Maryland onto the same court at the same time. According to Andy Katz of ESPN.com, there is, as he terms is, “a chance” that those two will meet during the event, which is a big deal.
Let me explain: the Hoyas and the Terps have played just once since 1994, when they locked horns in the Old Spice Classic in Orlando in 2008. The cause for that dispute stems back to the aftermath of the last game these two teams played in the DMV. John Feinstein explains:
The teams did meet at what was then USAir Arena in November 1993 and Maryland, back on the rise under [former Coach Gary Williams], won a wonderful game in overtime. There was supposed to be a return game but [former Georgetown Coach John Thompson Jr.] refused to schedule it, claiming Maryland wouldn’t give his school enough tickets and he had voluntarily given up control of the tickets to the ’93 game to promoter Russ Potts.
The feud runs deeper than that, however. Back in 2012, Maryland AD Kevin Anderson said that the Terps and the Hoyas would not play in any sport until the basketball rivalry gets renewed. For what it’s worth, borth schools have top ten soccer programs and will play September 30th.