People all over the Metro area – and all over the nation to some extent – have made a big deal about Georgetown not playing Maryland in basketball. We all know the truth about the MD-GU series. After playing at the Capital Centre in the 1993-94 season, Maryland refused to the agreed upon terms and the return game was never played. Somehow Maryland still feels that Georgetown is to blame. Two coaches later and after many attempts to bury the hatchet by the Hoyas, the feud continues. Basically, the fact that Maryland and Georgetown haven’t played in this area in nearly fifteen years falls on the Terps, but the Hoyas are responsible for shutting down another local rivalry.
Georgetown and American University have a long history. They started playing in the 1938-39 season, and from 1953-1987 they played every single year. So, what went wrong in this local series?
Well, first let’s say that in the 1982-83 season, when Patrick Ewing was a sophomore, Georgetown lost to American university. Yes, it’s true; the Eagles came away with a 62-61 win over the Hoyas one year before Georgetown won the National Championship. Over the following three seasons, Georgetown had distanced themselves from American, as the margin of victory in the three Hoya wins was more than 21 points per game.
Then came the 1986-87 season; the season affectionately remembered by Hoya fans as the year of “Reggie and the Miracles.” The Hoyas won the Big East tournament, they made it to the Elite Eight of the NCAA tournament, and they nearly lost to American at the Capital Centre. Georgetown leaned on the greatness of Reggie Williams down the stretch and narrowly escaped with a 62-59 victory.
That was the last time the two teams met. It seems like maybe the elder John Thompson thought the pesky American team was a little too bothersome and a little too dangerous to schedule after that game. Now JTIII has AU back on the schedule, and it’s another nice opportunity to see two of the local schools go head to head. Enjoy it while you can. Who knows how often it will happen, especially if American played like they did in the last meeting.