(John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

This was already a bad year for both the Maryland and Georgetown men’s basketball programs, the two traditional powers from the D.C. area. Both teams entered their conference tournaments needing major help to make the NCAA tournament field, both had been hurt at some point by serious injuries and both had frustrated fans with inconsistent play and disappointing losses.

This week, it got worse. Georgetown lost its Big East Tournament opener to DePaul on Wednesday night, missing the conference quarterfinals. Maryland then lost its ACC Tournament opener to Florida State on Thursday afternoon, missing the conference quarterfinals. That’s great for the Washington Post’s travel budget; but it’s poor for everything else.

Anyhow, because we were wondering this around the office, I looked it up. And I’m almost positive that both Georgetown and Maryland never have been eliminated from their conference tournaments before the quarterfinal round since the formation of the original Big East.

(Of course, before conference expansion, it was a lot harder to miss the quarterfinal round. But expansion is old news by this point.)

Sure, the teams have had their individual struggles. Maryland was out before the ACC quarterfinals in 2005, 2007 and 2008. Georgetown was out before the Big East quarterfinals in 2004, 2009 and 2011. In other years, the Terps or Hoyas both lost their first postseason tournament games, in the quarterfinal round, in the same year; in 1983 and 2003, for example.

But both losing their openers, and both missing the quarterfinal round? Nope, that trick was saved for Maryland’s final ACC season.

Also, via Chick Hernandez, this: