The Old Spice Classic bracket is out, and here’s a hearty boo from the D.C. area.
On one side of the bracket is Georgetown, playing its opener against Wichita State at noon on Thanksgiving.
On the other side of the bracket is Maryland, playing its opener against Michigan State at 7 p.m. that night.
The teams can’t possibly meet until the final day of the tournament, and those chances will fizzle if Georgetown wins its opener (it should) and Maryland loses its opener (a distinct possibility against a team likely to start the year in the top 15).
The other first-round matchups are Tennessee-Siena and Gonzaga-Oklahoma State.
It should be pointed out that the next most fun Maryland subplot - the Terps vs. Bobby Maze - is just as unlikely to occur as the Beltway Battle. Maze, a junior college guard, committed to Maryland, but that fell apart in the spring and Maze wound up at Tennessee.
But, hey, at least Maryland gets to play Michigan State, the Terps’ perennial stalking horse. It will only be the third time the teams have met this decade (the 2003 NCAA tournament and the 2006 Coaches vs. Cancer Classic were the others), but they’ve been in town together quite a bit.
Like at the 2001 Final Four. And the 2002 NCAA tournament (Verizon Center, 1st round). And the 2004 BB&T Classic. And the 2005 Maui Invitational. And the 2007 CBE Classic.
Either way, this doesn’t turn out to be nearly as much fun as it could be, at least for a D.C. basketball fan.
—- Patrick Stevens