For the past three seasons, Maryland men’s basketball has participated in the Gavitt Tipoff Games, an annual event where teams from the Big Ten and Big East go head-to-head for conference supremacy.
Each of the matchups with a Big East foe was memorable. When the Hoyas came to Xfinity Center, Scott Van Pelt did a live SportsCenter on the court after the game, and the return trip to Washington, D.C. was highlighted by a furious Maryland rally and the biggest block of Kevin Huerter’s career. The Terps’ victory over the Bulldogs on Batman Night was also pretty neat — it wound up being their best win of the otherwise largely forgettable 2017-18 campaign.
However, Maryland will not have a chance to get to 4-0 in the Gavitt Games this year.
Michigan State, Iowa, Purdue, Northwestern, Maryland, and Minnesota are the six Big Ten teams that will not be in the 2018 Gavitt Games, per multiple sources.
— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) May 15, 2018
The news that the Terps will not be taking part this season is pretty disappointing. Out-of-conference games against other power conference teams are always fun to watch — and they can be a major help when it comes to improving to a team’s strength of schedule.
While I think I speak for everyone when I say a game against Villanova probably would have ended poorly, a second matchup with Butler at historic Hinkle Fieldhouse would have been pretty fun. Alternatively, facing other teams that have frequently made the NCAA tournament in recent years — such as Creighton, Providence and Seton Hall — would have been enjoyable as well.
As for why Maryland isn’t playing in the Gavitt Games this year, there’s only one possible explanation: The Big East is scared.