Johns Hopkins-Maryland tilt has familiar feeling for both sides

There’s no way to downplay the obvious emotional ties No. 5 Johns Hopkins and No. 10 Maryland will have when they meet Saturday evening in another installment of their annual rivalry.

But in some ways, both sides have been down this road before. Blue Jays coach Dave Pietramala likened this week of preparation to gearing up for much-anticipated opponents like Virginia and Syracuse.

“The Virginia game is an emotional game. The Syracuse game is an emotional game,” he said Wednesday. “Those are big rivalries for us, and this is not the first rivalry game we’ve had this year, and I’m sure it’s not the first one that they’ve had. But to be honest with you, I don’t know how they feel and I don’t care to know how they feel. I can’t know how the university that we’re playing feels about their other games. I can worry about us, and I know this is another one of those rivalry games that brings out a lot of intensity and emotion. And we’ve been in a couple of those already.”

Likewise, Terps coach John Tillman said the buildup has been similar to that when the team is slated to meet Atlantic Coast Conference foes Virginia, Duke and North Carolina.

“To me, it’s very much like an ACC game,” he said. “It’s a game that has a lot of significance to our state, nationally. You know they’re a really good team, and you know the teams are really good teams. There’s a little bit more excitement in our locker room, but also you hear about it all the time. The kids come to Maryland to play games like this. So there’s a little bit more excitement. … We want to make sure that they work hard and prepare, but we also want them to enjoy it and enjoy this week and enjoy getting ready to play on such a great stage on television, but also to see where we are.”

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