Terps to play Pitt, not Duke, twice each basketball season
By By Jeff Barker and Jonas Shaffer
Feb 03, 2012 at 6:23 PM
Maryland’s two-games-a-season men’s basketball series with Duke — once a rite of winter — will no longer occur every year.
The Atlantic Coast Conference on Friday released its future scheduling formats and divisions to account for the arrival — at an undetermined time — of Pittsburgh and Syracuse.
In basketball, the Terps will host and play at Pittsburgh annually while facing the remaining 12 conference teams at least once. Maryland will play each of the other schools (besides Pitt) both home and away one year; at home only one year; and away only one year.
Pitt was designated as Maryland’s “primary partner.” Duke’s primary partner is North Carolina.
Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said Friday that he had not been briefed on the future 18-game schedules.
Told the Terps were locked in twice a season against Pitt, Turgeon said: “I’ve got a lot of respect for [coach] Jamie [Dixon]. I imagine Duke is going to pop [up] twice on our schedule.” But, it appears, that will happen only every several years.
Maryland and Duke have had a long history of memorable games. The game with the Blue Devils is annually the toughest ticket to obtain at Comcast Center.
The ACC’s initial expansion in 2004 marked the demise of its round-robin home-and-home schedule, and the conference’s latest expansion has limited the Terps’ twice-a-season battles with Virginia and Duke.
In football, little but the divisions’ membership received a facelift. The Terps will now face nine ACC teams annually: Virginia, their crossover partner; two rotating opponents in the Coastal Division; and all of the newly expanded Atlantic. The remade divisions look like this.
In basketball, the Terps are 5-1 against the Panthers historically, and 5-2 against the Orange. Those two losses to Syracuse hurt, however. The first ended the Terps’ 2004 season a step short of the Sweet 16, and the second the Terps’ 2008 NIT run.