No. 37: Duke vs Maryland (D1 Men's Basketball)
No. 37 in our countdown takes us out east for one of the most celebrated rivalries in all of College Basketball. The ACC has produced some major power house programs over the years, making for some intense rivalries. The annual battles between the Terrapins and Blue Devils are likely the 2nd best rivalry in ACC basketball (hint, hint!).
The first meeting between the two was in February of 1925, and since then Duke owns a 112-61 lead in the series. Duke has won 12 of the last 13 meetings, as Maryland has hit some rough waters as a program.
Some people would debate that this game technically is not a rivalry, considering most Duke fans don't really consider Maryland as a rival, more as a regular ACC opponent. They've really dominated Maryland throughout history, so they feel like the series isn't competitive enough to be considered a true rivalry. Many former Duke players disagree, though, saying that Maryland was one of the hardest teams they played.
But if you ask any Maryland fan, they'll tell you how much they HATE Duke. Maryland fans really feel like Duke treats them as the little brother, and that they deserve much more respect. You can see how much Terrapin Nation loves beating Duke, as they go all out for games against the Blue Devils. Mike Wilbon of ESPN, a Maryland resident, says this of the rivalry: "It's one of the best rivalries in one of the best basketball leagues in the country".
This rivalry really escalated in the early 2000's, when Duke and Maryland were both considered powerhouse programs. When these two teams met, they were always highly ranked and the game had national implications. In 2001 the two teams met in the Final Four, where Duke won 95-84, in route to winning the national championship, re-instating the "little brother" title that Maryland fans hate.
The next season Duke started the rivalry with a bang, beating Maryland 99-78 in front of the Cameron Crazies. Maryland fans got even with Duke in 2002, beating #1 ranked Duke 87-73 at home and going on the winning the national championship that year.
In 2003 Maryland had a slight drop off as a program, having a slow start, while The Blue Devils were still considered a major powerhouse. Maryland hosted the Blue Devils, who boasted an undefeated record and the title of top team in the country. The Terrapins were the ones who looked like the top team that night, beating Duke 87-72 and rushing the floor. These two teams would stay competitive for years to come, until recently when Maryland has become less successful.
While Duke remains the long time victor in this long rivalry, Maryland is hungry to start chipping away at that title. Maryland seems to be on the up and up as a program, so don't be surprised to see this rivalry get intense again sooner or later.