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A Philadelphia Big 5? Not here

Local college basketball fans have long fantasized about an arrangement in which area schools would regularly play each other in a format akin to the city series of Philadelphia's Big 5 – Villanova, Temple, La Salle, Penn and St. Joseph's.

But it looks like that's all it is – a fantasy.

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For one thing, Maryland and Georgetown have no plans to play, and the Washington Post reported that Maryland isn't scheduling games with the Hoyas in other sports until a men's basketball agreement is reached.

Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said Monday thay he would one day like to see the Terps play the Hoyas in a regularly-scheduled game.

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"I hope there is a game between us in the future when we get a little bit better," Turgeon said. "It'd be great for everybody. But (Hoyas coach) John Thompson III and I have to be on the same page for that to happen."

The notion of fostering local rivalries has gotten more complex. The Atlantic Coast Conference is moving from a 16-game schedule to an 18-game schedule once Syracuse and Pittsburgh arrive. That creates fewer opportunities to schedule non-conference games. Also, Maryland is locked into a number of home dates for budgetary reasons.

"It makes it hard for us to say yes to it," Turgeon said of expanding the network of local rivalries.

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