The prayers of DMV hoops fans have been answered as the Georgetown Hoyas will face the Maryland Terrpains next season. The game is part of the first-ever Big East - Big Ten Challenge, otherwise knows as the Gavitt Tipoff Games. Per this report, the game will take place on Tuesday, November 17th in College Park.
The Dave Gavitt Tipoff Games are a four-day, eight-game season-opening challenge between the conferences beginning in 2015-16. The event will take place each November from Tuesday through Friday of the first full week of the season. ESPN and the Big Ten Network and Fox Sports 1, the Big East's partner, will televise games at the respective league's home venues. Each will host four games.
"We wanted to do something to pay tribute to Dave. The geographic affinity between our two conferences made it a natural to synch up," said Big East commissioner Val Ackerman. "These [conference] challenges are not uncommon. We want to do something unique, by launching the season with a challenge."
The new Big East, which launched last fall with seven defectors from the existing league (now the American Athletic Conference) plus newcomers Xavier, Creighton and Butler, overlapped significantly with the Big Ten even before that conference's pending addition of Rutgers and Maryland. Seven of the 10 schools reside in the same state as a Big Ten member, and Georgetown and Maryland are virtual neighbors. Some, like Wisconsin-Marquette and Creighton-Nebraska, already play each other annually.
The below from Ben Standig puts the importance of the matchup in perspective:
The time for the first meeting between the local heavyweights since 2008 and first played locally since 1993 is this coming season. Not because it's long overdue (though it is) or because area fans can't stop dreaming about the possibility (Holdovers from the John Thompson Jr.-Lefty Driesell/Gary Williams battles are certainly all in).
Set this game for the 2015-16 campaign because both teams are loaded. At the same time. That hasn't always been the case recently or over the last 20 years.
If fans want to ignore the past and focus solely on next season, saving those vacation days for March isn't a bad idea. There is a realistic chance that the 10 players on the court for the opening tip would be four-star recruits or higher.
With the addition of 6-foot-10 center and top-10 national recruit Diamond Stone, several college basketball sites project Maryland as a top-5 team next season after coming off a 28-win campaign.
Dynamic point guard and All-American candidate Melo Trimble returns for his sophomore season. Combo forward Jake Layman stayed with the Terps and now shifts to his natural 3-man spot. That's because rugged big man Robert Carter becomes eligible after sitting out last season following his transfer from Georgia Tech. Depth exists everywhere.
Like the Terps, the Hoyas finished second in their conference and reached the round of 32 in the NCAA Tournament. Like Maryland, Georgetown recently added a strong player, though one already a star on the Hilltop.
Leading scorer D'Vauntes Smith-Rivera will return for his senior season after briefly declaring for the NBA Draft. That gives coach John Thompson III an experienced option to go with a plethora of young studs including All-Big East rookie selections Isaac Copeland and L.J. Peak plus three incoming four-star recruits. This won't be the biggest team in the Thompson era, but it might be the most athletic.
Press release from Georgetown:
Georgetown to Play Maryland in Gavitt Tipoff Games
WASHINGTON - The Georgetown University men's basketball team will play at the University of Maryland in one of eight games announced by the BIG EAST Conference and the Big Ten Conference as part of the matchups for the inaugural 2015 Gavitt Tipoff Games. The Gavitt Tipoff Games will be held annually between the two conferences and are named in honor of Dave Gavitt, the founder of the BIG EAST and a basketball visionary.
The Hoyas and the Terrapins will play at XFINITY Center in College, Park, Md., on Tuesday, November 17. The teams will play the following season at Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.
"Our programs share a great deal of history," Georgetown Head Coach John Thompson III said. "Memories of Pops and Lefty, Merlin Wilson and Tom McMillen, Craig Shelton and Buck Williams, Allen Iverson and Joe Smith, Greg Monroe and Greivis Vasquez and many, many more dance in our heads.
"The time is right to make new memories. We are excited."
The annual series will feature renewed battles between local foes and attractive intersectional matchups. Eight teams in the inaugural event advanced to the NCAA Tournament and won at least 20 games last season.
Other matchups include Creighton at Indiana, Illinois at Providence, Rutgers at St. John's, Xavier at Michigan, DePaul at Penn State, Nebraska at Villanova and Iowa at Marquette.
"Playing a local rival like Maryland strengthens Washington, D.C. as a leading college basketball city in the country," Georgetown Director of Intercollegiate Athletics Lee Reed said. "The Gavitt Tipoff Games feature two of the top conferences in the country and will be a great week for college basketball."
The game with Maryland will be the 64th meeting all-time between the two schools. The teams last played during the 2008-09 season, a 75-48 Georgetown win during the Old Spice Classic in Florida. Georgetown has won four of the last six meetings between the teams, with Maryland leading the head-to-head series, 36-27. The series between the schools began in 1935 and the Hoyas and the Terrapins played each other every year between 1947 and 1976.
The unique series between the two conferences is named to honor the late Gavitt, who had a profound and lasting influence on the sport of basketball on the collegiate, professional and Olympic levels. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006.
Beginning in 2015 and scheduled through 2022, the Gavitt Tipoff Games will be played on four-consecutive days in the first full week of the college basketball campaign. The series will span eight years, with games played at home sites. Each BIG EAST team will participate a minimum of six times, while Big Ten programs will take part a minimum of four times. Teams from both conferences already meet in some traditional rivalry games, and those matchups will continue in the upcoming seasons.
Television coverage of the Gavitt Tipoff Games will be controlled by the conference of the home team. BIG EAST home games will be telecast by FOX Sports 1, while Big Ten home matchups will appear on ESPN or Big Ten Network.
Other announced matchups are below: