Oh, boy. New uniforms for Maryland and Duke. We can hardly wait.
Trying to drum up juice for Maryland-Duke has gotten more difficult in recent years as the Blue Devils have won 12 of the last 13 meetings. Since 2008, even Wake Forest and Clemson have more wins over Duke (two) than Maryland. The only ACC team with a worse record against the Blue Devils since 2008 is Virginia (0-8).
But Saturday might be different. No. ?2 Duke has looked increasingly vulnerable since 6-foot-11 senior Ryan Kelly was sidelined. This could be the last gasp for desperate Maryland (17-7), which needs a quality victory to boost its sagging NCAA tournament resume. Most of all, with the Terps moving to the Big Ten, this could be the Blue Devils' last visit to Comcast Center.
Make no mistake. This was once a great rivalry. It momentarily supplanted UNC-Duke as the most heated matchup in the ACC. The rivalry was stoked in 2001 when the teams played four unforgettable games. The next six years brought more fuel to the fire.
In 2002, the Terps toppled the top-ranked Blue Devils in their final trip to Cole Field House, then did the same a year later in No. 1 Duke's first game at Comcast Center. In 2004, when the John Gilchrist-led Terps made an improbable run to the ACC title, they ended Duke's five-year reign. In 2005, the Terps swept the Blue Devils for the first time in 10 years, then repeated the feat two years later.
Those were the days, which Maryland hopes to recapture Saturday.
- Kevin Dunleavy