Maryland-Niagara in the NIT probably won’t draw tons of national attention this week. Or local attention, really. Or attention at the corner of Baltimore and Knox.
But the game does carry echoes of the past. The last time these two schools met in the NIT came in the tournament’s 1972 title game, when it was still an event that signified more than also-ran status.
That game, according to the AP’s preview, featured “Tom McMillen, Maryland’s smooth-shooting forward,” plus “Len Elmore, the broad-shouldered 6-9 Maryland center. The Terps were coached by Lefty Driesell — “we do a little bit of everything,” the Lefthander said before the game, — while the Purple Eagles were led by alum Frank Layden, who would go on to NBA coaching fame.
The Terps won that game, 100-69. Elmore had an insane line of 16 points, 15 rebounds and 11 blocks, and both McMillen and someone named Bob Bodell scored 19 points. It was Maryland’s first NIT championship.
BECAUSE YOU DON’T READ THE PAPER
* The Caps remain the opposite of the Wizards, playing their best against terrible teams. This time they smacked around the Sabres.
* Boz: “In sports, a room has a tone. Natitude started as an ad gimmick, dumb to some. But it stuck because it fit.”
* The circus (and the NCAA tournament) is coming to town, so the Wizards and Caps are leaving.
PHOTO OF THE NIGHT
Chick Hernandez posted this fan banner from the ACC tournament.
QUOTE OF THE NIGHT
Ryan Zimmerman to Boz:
“If we can be a winner for 10 years, Washington will be a baseball-crazy town. Basically, it’s our time now. In two weeks, we have to go up there and do what we know how to do.”
VIDEO OF THE NIGHT
With lots of mascots at Verizon Center in honor of G-Wiz’s birthday, Screech nailed an over-the-head backwards halfcourt shot. Via Nats Enquirer.
WHAT TO WATCH TODAY
The Wizards are in Charlotte at 7 on Comcast SportsNet. The next few days will be stressful, though, so maybe just make some soup. All TV/Radio listings are here.