COLLEGE PARK, Md. – The University of Maryland and the University of Wisconsin have agreed to a two-year home-and-home football series.
Maryland will travel to Madison, Wis., on Sept. 12, 2020 for a game with the Badgers. Wisconsin will make the return trip to Maryland on Sept. 11, 2021 for a game inside Capital One Field at Byrd Stadium.
“We’re excited about adding Wisconsin to the upcoming football schedule,” said Kevin Anderson, director of athletics. “These will be much anticipated games for both our future student-athletes and for our fans.”
It will be the first time in history the two schools have met in a football game.
Ryan Chell and I are going to see That’s My Boy Tuesday night. It will probably make six billion dollars and everyone involved will get new cars. It used to piss me off because I don’t really find Adam Sandler’s shtick to be funny anymore, but there are a couple issues involved. One-Adam Sandler sat down with us at the Super Bowl and was really nice. He even opened up about my idol Chris Farley, which is something I found out later he really never does…
Two-over the past few months I’ve developed a unique friendship with Happy Madison star Peter Dante, who might be the best human being on the face of the planet. He’s the guy on the right below…
So now I hope the movie is funny and they make a billion dollars. Damn you, nice guys.
The 14th annual ACC/Big Ten Challenge Presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods on Nov. 27-28 will be highlighted by North Carolina at Indiana, Ohio State at Duke and North Carolina State at Michigan, six programs expected to be highly ranked entering the 2012-13 season. ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU will combine to televise all 12 games of the two-day event matching top college basketball programs playing for conference supremacy and the Commissioners Cup.
All 12 games will also be available via WatchESPN, which delivers live access to ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN3 on PCs, smartphones and tablets to fans who receive ESPN’s linear networks as part of their video subscription from Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Bright House Networks or Verizon FiOS TV.
The 2012 Challenge involves nine teams ranked in an ESPN.com early preseason top 25, including five of the top nine: No. 1 Indiana, No. 5 Michigan, No. 6 NC State, No. 8 Ohio State and No. 9 Michigan State.
The ACC won the first 10 Challenges while the Big Ten captured the Commissioner Cup for the third consecutive event, including an eight to four win advantage over the ACC last year. In the event of a 6-6 tie, the Commissioner’s Cup will remain with the conference that won the previous year. 2012 Challenge highlights:
Off a Ratings High: ESPN’s telecast of Ohio State’s 85-63 victory over Duke last year was the highest-rated and most-viewed Challenge game ever, averaging a 2.6 rating and 2,618,000 households. The telecast propelled ESPN to its most-viewed Challenge, averaging 1,555,000 households, based on a 1.6 rating.
One more Shot at the Dozen: Duke, which has won 11 of its 13 Challenge games, will host Ohio State in its quest for an event-record 12th victory. Duke lost to Ohio State last year and to Wisconsin in 2009.
First Challenge Matchups: Four of the telecasts will feature first-time Challenge matchups: Virginia at No. 22 Wisconsin, Maryland at Northwestern, No. 9 Michigan State at Miami and Georgia Tech at Illinois.
In addition to first-time Challenge games, several of the teams are infrequent opponents: Michigan State and Miami have never met; Northwestern and Maryland played one other time, a Northwestern victory in 1958; Virginia and Wisconsin split its two games, Virginia in 1975 and Wisconsin in 1999; and Illinois has defeated Georgia Tech in six of its seven games, including the last one in 2001.
Tourney Teams: Eleven teams between the two conferences played in the 2012 NCAA Tournament: Duke, Florida State, North Carolina, NC State and Virginia from the ACC, and Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Purdue and Wisconsin from the Big Ten.
Following a First with a Rematch: Boston College and Penn State and Nebraska and Wake Forest will follow first-time Challenge meetings with a second consecutive showdown in the event.
Boston College, which won its first five games, lost to Penn State last year, while Nebraska lost its Challenge debut to Wake Forest.
Threepeat: Five of the games will mark three-time Challenge matchups: North Carolina at Indiana (Indiana win in 2001 and North Carolina in 2004), NC State at Michigan (Michigan win in 2003 and NC State in 2006), Ohio State at Duke (Duke win in 2002 and Ohio State in 2011), Iowa at Virginia Tech (won by Virginia Tech in 2006 and 2009) and Purdue at Clemson (Purdue win in 2003 and Clemson in 2007).
Three and one more: Minnesota and Florida State will meet for the fourth time (Minnesota won in 2000 and Florida State in 2004 and 2007).
2012 ACC/Big Ten Challenge schedule (times and networks are to be determined):
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (April 19, 2012) – Twenty-four players have accepted invitations to attend the 2012 USA Basketball Men’s U18 National Team Training camp June 5-12 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center (USOTC) in Colorado Springs, Colo., including one player with college experience and three players who represented the USA in the 2012 Nike Hoop Summit. The USA Basketball Men’s Junior National Team committee issued the player invitations.
While rising sophomore Jarnell Stokes (University of Tennessee/Memphis, Tenn.) is the lone collegian attending camp, graduating high school seniors Gary Harris (Hamilton Southeastern/ Fishers, Ind.); James Robinson (DeMatha Catholic H.S./Mitchellville, Md.);and Rasheed Sulaimon (Strake Jesuit College Prep/Houston, Texas) suited up for the USA at the 15th annual Nike Hoop Summit.
Also from the Class of 2012 are: Ryan Arcidiacono (Neshaminy H.S./Langhorne, Pa.); Robert Carter (Thomasville H.S./Thomasville, Ga.); Sam Dekker (Sheboygan Lutheran H.S./Sheboygan, Wis.); Kris Dunn (New London H.S./Oakdale, Conn.); Shaq Goodwin (Southwest Dekalb H.S./Decatur, Ga.); Jerami Grant (DeMatha Catholic/Bowie, Md.); Montrezl Harrell (Hargrave Military Academy/Tarboro, N.C.); Joel James (Dwyer H.S./West Palm Beach, Fla.); Jake Layman (King Phillip Regional H.S./Wrentham, Mass.); Devonta Pollard (Kemper County/Porterville, Miss.); Rodney Purvis (Upper Room Christian/Raleigh, N.C.); Marcus Smart (Marcus H.S./Flower Mound, Texas); Robert Upshaw (Edison H.S./Fresno, Calif.); and Adam Woodbury (East H.S./Sioux City, Iowa).
Participants set to graduate in 2013 include: Jabari Bird (Salesian H.S./Vallejo, Calif.); Nathaniel Britt, II (Gonzaga H.S., D.C./Upper Marlboro, Md.); Aaron Harrison (Travis H.S./Richmond, Texas); Andrew Harrison (Travis H.S./Richmond, Texas); Julius Randle (Prestonwood Christian Academy/ McKinney, Texas); and Troy Williams (Phoebus H.S./Hampton, Va.).
The 2012 USA U18 National Team will be led by a trio of experienced and successful college coaches at the FIBA Americas U18 Championship, including Billy Donovan (University of Florida) as head coach, with Mark Few (Gonzaga University) and Shaka Smart (Virginia Commonwealth University) as assistant coaches.
“It will be important to learn to play together as a team in a short amount of time,” Donovan said. “We need to demonstrate great focus and teamwork and bring a high level of energy and effort every day in order to have success both in training camp and throughout the competition.”
Following the first three or four days of training camp from June 5-12 at the U.S. Olympic Training Center (USOTC) in Colorado Springs, Colo., finalist for the team will be selected by the USA Men’s Junior National Team Committee and will continue to train at the USOTC.
“We have a very talented group of young players that will have a great chance of bringing home a gold medal in the FIBA Americas U18 Championship,” said Jim Boeheim, Syracuse University and Hall of Fame coach and chair of the USA Junior National Team Committee. “As is the case each year, our USA Team will be up against the best players in their age group in the world. They will face great competition from the other participating countries.
The official, 12-member 2012 USA Men’s U18 National Team will be selected prior to the team’s departure for the 2012 FIBA Americas U18 Championship, which will be played June 16-20 in Sao Sebastiáo do Paraiso, Brazil. Players eligible for this competition must have been born on or after Jan. 1, 1994.
You’re going to have to indulge me on this one. I have no one to yell at and no incredible statement to make about a current sporting event.
Instead, if this column was called “Your Saturday Reality Check”, I would have gotten this perfectly to the date.
Ten years ago-Sunday, March 24, 2002-the University of Maryland met the University of Connecticut in the East Region Final (or the Elite 8 if you well) of the NCAA Tournament. The game was at the Carrier Dome at Syracuse University.
For full disclosure, I wasn’t there. It was my freshman year at the University of Maryland, but I didn’t make the trip. I didn’t make the trip to the Georgia Dome for the Final Four either, which is one of the greatest regrets of my still very young life. I actually think our own Luke Jones was at the game, but I’m just rambling now.
You certainly remember the shots that defined the game. The Terrapins trailed the Huskies 77-74 with just under four minutes to play as Caron Butler simply wouldn’t let UConn go away quietly. Juan Dixon calmly sank a three pointer from near the top of the key to even the game back up. Then in the final minute, a previously scoreless Steve Blake altered a play call in the huddle and used a ball fake to create an open three for himself to put the Terps up 86-80, effectively the final nail in the coffin of a 90-82 victory.
What I remember was how the game felt like the most intense college basketball game I had ever witnessed. While Gary Williams likely ruined an expensive suit due to sweat that afternoon, Glenn Clark also ruined a number of t-shirts and a pair of pajama pants. This was a game where neither team ever appeared to have the upper hand. Lonny Baxter was absolutely dominant in the paint against future NBA standout Emeka Okafor, but Butler’s 32 points kept the Huskies at Maryland’s heels all afternoon.
We’re planning to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the University of Maryland’s only basketball championship throughout the week on “The Reality Check” on AM1570 WNST.net. I’ve admitted regularly that I openly wept at Cole Field House that early April night (the anniversary of the championship is this Sunday for those scoring at home) in College Park. I had two goals for my life from about the time I was eight years old. One was to become a professional broadcaster, the other was to attend the University of Maryland.
Being a “Terp” was in my blood. My grandmother (a journalism teacher in Baltimore County and later professor at Morgan State University) is a University of Maryland alum. While I was too young for the Bob Wade era of Maryland basketball to mean much to me, the early years of the Gary Williams era (which were not always pretty) shaped who I wanted to be when I stepped on a basketball court at Chapel Hill Elementary School or Perry Hall Middle School. I pretended to be Evers Burns. I pretended to be Kevin McLinton. I ABSOLUTELY pretended to be Walt “The Wizard” Williams, Joe Smith, Keith Booth and Sarunas Jasikevicius.
I really had no idea I’d ever witness my heroes playing in a Final Four or for a national championship. I had felt the 1999 team (lead by Steve Francis) had a legitimate chance, but Erick Barkley and St. John’s extinguished those hopes in the Sweet 16. Just weeks before Maryland’s initial Final Four run in 2001 there were calls for the head of Gary Williams after an embarrassing streak of five losses in six games (including a “rock bottom” defeat at the hands of Florida State on Valentine’s Day).
But there was something about the 2001-2002 Terps that made you believe the entire time that team was capable of finally breaking through. The heartbreak of blowing a big loss to Duke in the Final Four the year earlier seemed to fuel them to an ACC regular season championship and back to that afternoon at the Carrier Dome. The confidence of an incredible group of upperclassmen was never lacking at any point during the season.
Maryland’s run to the National Championship was unprecedented. After an opening round win over Siena, the Terps faced a modern day “Murderer’s Row” of basketball programs as they ran through Wisconsin, Kentucky, UConn and then Kansas and Indiana. Maryland faced the highest seed they could possibly face in every round as a 1 seed (16, 8, 4, 2, 1, 1) as well. Yet somehow they never really seemed to be in danger of losing.
In the Final Four a huge second half lead was cut into by the Jayhawks, but it never appeared particularly nerve-racking. The Hoosiers briefly held a second half lead in the National Championship game, but a quick baseline jumper from Dixon turned the game back toward the favor of Maryland.
The only game that involved great drama was the UConn game. It was the type of drama that sees eight ties and seven lead changes in the final 13 minutes. It was the type of drama that almost could never be fairly described in words. (ESPN’s Dick Vitale described it as a “Maalox Masher” immediately after the game. He’s certainly a wordsmith if nothing else.)
It was the type of drama that made you think “whoever wins this game is winning a national championship” in the second half. At least it made me feel that way…and I was right.
To this day, this is still my absolute favorite game I’ve ever watched. More so than the Tennessee Titans/Baltimore Ravens AFC Divisional Playoff in 2001, more so than the Mike Mussina/Randy Johnson showdown at Camden Yards in Game 4 of the 1997 ALDS, even more so than the Andre Agassi/James Blake thriller at the 2005 U.S. Open. If your heart can take it, it’s worth reliving below.
I’m not sure mine can, but I’m still grateful for these memories some ten years later.
I will be at BBBBQ Saturday morning with my “Reality Check Players” partner John Collingsworth. If you intended to do something with me at some point during the day Saturday understand…well…just be prepared for anything.
I’ll be giving away a pair of tickets to Friday night on Tuesday and Wednesday on “The Reality Check.” Not sure if Beer, Bourbon & BBQ is an event for you? I have a simple question. Does this look like something you’d enjoy?