If you haven’t heard, Maryland men’s lacrosse won the national championship in 2017, snapping a 42-year title drought that included nine runner-up finishes. The Terps open this spring at or near the top of every major ranking, and their season opener is Saturday at noon against Navy.
This seems like a game fans would want to attend. Maryland hasn’t been able to take the field as the defending champ in over four decades. The Terps will do so against an in-state rival with a strong history of its own, continuing a storied series with 92 all-time meetings (including every year since 1946). Maryland is handing out 1,000 T-shirts to students. The weather forecast is as warm as it’s been in over a week.
Except there’s a basketball game at the same time.
Hardly a mile from Maryland Stadium, the Terps’ 16-10 basketball team will host Northwestern. That’s a noon tip-off on ESPN2. Maryland has struggled over a month, but a basketball game will always be the marquee show in College Park on that day, no matter what else is going on. Even with attendance not as high this season as in previous years, basketball is certain to significantly outdraw lacrosse. With the games competing with one another, though, both crowds will most likely take a hit.
Hosting these games simultaneously forces far too many fans into choosing which game to attend. Basketball tip-off times are decided by TV networks as much as anyone or anything else, but the lacrosse game won’t be televised; it’s just streaming on BTN Plus. Were lacrosse to start later in the afternoon, fans could build their day around Maryland sports, taking in two games in succession. Instead, both shows will be over before 3 p.m.
Maryland is no stranger to these types of conflicts; Maryland Madness conflicts with a late-season soccer match more often than not, and several weekend afternoons throughout the year feature multiple home games happening at once. But a clash of this scale should have been easily avoidable.
In other news
Maryland women’s basketball won its clash with Michigan State, avenging its only Big Ten loss this season.
Here’s The Baltimore Sun on Maryland men’s lacrosse, which finds itself in a new position this spring.
The baseball team has a new manager and plenty of new faces this spring, but the Terps will rely on what experience they do have, from the Maryland Baseball Network.
DJ Durkin was on 106.7 the FAN to talk National Signing Day with the Sports Junkies. He’s optimistic about plenty of things.
It’s harder to be optimistic about Maryland softball, but as the Terps start their season this afternoon, they’re confident about their direction.
(It’s been a busy week preparing for spring sports to start, and we’re far from done. I’m incredibly excited about the group of beat writers we’ve put together, and hope you’ll enjoy reading them over the next few months. Stay tuned.)