KANSAS CITY, Mo. —- Obviously, there’s an interesting coaching matchup here tomorrow.
No, not the one between Jeff Capel and John Beilein in the Battle of Coaches Virginia Would Really, Realy, Really Like to Lure But Probably Won’t.
It is, of course, John Calipari and Gary Williams meeting up in the postseason —- again.
The two have split six games over the years —- five while Calipari was at Massachusetts, another since he arrived at Memphis.
Williams, though, won both games in March.
A quick look at all six:
1990 NIT first round: Just weeks after Maryland learned it wouldn’t go to the postseason again for some time thanks to an NCAA ban, the Terps produced a 91-81 victory at Cole Field House.
1993 Hall of Fame Classic: Maryland knocked off a ranked opponent in its first opportunity when Joe Smith debuted with an upset of Othella Harrington and Georgetown. The second chance didn’t go so swimmingly, with UMass picking up a 94-80 victory just down the road in Springfield.
1994 NCAA tournament second round: The 10th-seeded Terps, playing for their first appearance in the regional semifinals in nine years, upended second-seeded Massachusetts 95-87.
1994: Meeting up at the Baltimore Arena in another “neutral site” game, Marcus Camby and the Minutemen avenged the postseason loss from a season earlier with an 85-75 victory.
1995 Franklin National Bank Classic: This game provided the answer to the trivia question “What was Maryland’s lowest scoring output under Gary Williams?” … until this year. UMass won 50-47.
2004 Hall of Fame Classic: This was supposed to be Calipari’s first really good Memphis team. It did make the NIT semifinals, but 30-win seasons were still a year away. Instead, Maryland crushed the Tigers 84-61 to collect what everyone thought would be an impressive victory with staying power. Everyone, of course, didn’t bank on three losses to Clemson.
—- Patrick Stevens