Many don't realize it, but the two big area college basketball programs will be playing each other tonight for the second time this season, with the winner advancing in the NCAA Tournament. Yes, it's true. Maryland and Georgetown will play in the second round of the Women's 2011 NCAA Tournament, with the winner advancing to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA bracket.
It's a nice little alternative to the stand-offish attitude of the two famous local men's coaches in the area who will point fingers for all eternity over which one stopped what was once an annual rivalry. It's also a nice little alternative because the players and coaches in this game plan don't like each other.
There's a nice little narrative here, in that Maryland, with Brenda Frese, is the established program only a few years removed from winning an NCAA title, while Georgetown is the up-and-comer. Perhaps that explains why Georgetown is coming out aggressive with their quotes.
"I'm a local kid, so I had a chance to watch those championship teams. Marissa Coleman is not there anymore. Things have changed."
I realize "Marissa Coleman is not walking through that door" doesn't have the same ring to it, but it's still something to get amped up about. Also, here's the team's coach:
"You want us to be scared because we're at Maryland?" Georgetown Coach Terri Williams-Flournoy said. "We're not scared. I think Monica McNutt probably said it the best. We played Tennessee. We played Georgia Tech. We played U-Conn. We play very tough opponents. I think this team is well prepared to handle anything that's thrown at them because we've already been in it."
Whoosh. In response to all of this, Maryland has taped a bunch of Georgetown quotes over framed photographs in its locker room, which is known as "bulletin-board material" to us sports enthusiasts.
I get it: it's not the men, and it's therefore less exciting to many of you. But if you want some bad blood between two local college basketball teams, this is your best chance to get it.