When Duke travels to Maryland next Saturday it will be the last time the two meet in a regular season game as ACC foes. Two of the conference’s original teams, Mike Krzyzewski spent most of his time on this week’s ACC coaches teleconference talking about how much losing a rivalry like Maryland hurts.
For years the matchups between Duke and Maryland have been great basketball games that were full of memories and great players. Jason Williams‘ “miracle minute” comes to mind as well as battles between Coach K and Gary Williams with the two sometimes being the best teams in the country.
“Maryland was terrific. You know, you may have had in those four games, the two best teams in the country playing,” said Krzyzewski of the battles in 2001. “And over the years, that’s what Duke and Carolina have done; whether they are the two best teams or two of the Top-10 teams in the country in so many of these games, and that’s what Maryland and Duke has done during that period that drew that level of attention.”
This year’s matchup isn’t quite as poetic as Duke appears to have the upper hand but with that game happening in Cameron, judgement will have to reserved until Sunday at the latest. But before Duke and Maryland renew its rivalry on Saturday, the Blue Devils host North Carolina on Wednesday.
In talking about the Blue Devils’ rivalry with the Tar Heels, Coach K was quick to pay homage to the other great rivalries in the country (namely Ohio State/Michigan) before complimenting the way the rest of the ACC plays them.
“For us, I never wanted to get it to where it’s just us [and UNC], like one game is the rivalry, because pretty much everybody was trying to give us, and they still are, trying to give us their best shot,” Krzyzewski said.
Before jumping off for the week, Krzyzewski left us with one of the best assessments of college basketball, putting it all in perspective as only the greatest could.
“Those are moments in time that will never go away and you hope that they will come back at different times, even though both are you aren’t ranked. But when you do play, it conjures up memories of those games and makes that game even bigger. Kind of like the Masters or whatever; it’s not just a tournament; it’s what somebody did on the 16th hole in ’84.”
“That’s what college basketball is about, and when you get all this stuff going everywhere in every different direction, and you say, well, those teams will never play again, it’s tough to take.”