Terps' game at Va. Tech delayed

A water main break at Cassell Coliseum pushes start time to 7 p.m.

February 27, 2010|By Don Markus | don.markus@baltsun.com

BLACKSBURG, Va. — College basketball games have been delayed by leaky roofs and faulty shot clocks, but a beer truck and a broken water main?

The tipoff between Maryland and Virginia Tech here Saturday at Cassell Coliseum, originally scheduled for 4 p.m., was pushed back more than three hours Saturday afternoon when a van carrying beer for a pre-game party backed up over a fire hydrant.

According to school officials, the accident ruptured the water main for the basketball arena. The accident took place around 1:30 p.m. and workmen began digging to repair the water main.

The game is now scheduled to begin at 7 p.m.

There was some doubt about whether the game would be played after workmen broke another pipe at around 5:15 p.m., which made the Cassell Coliseum restrooms unusable. But school officials decided that fans and media could use restrooms at other nearby on-campus buildings.

The telecast of the game, by Raycom, will be shown in the Baltimore area on WNUV, Channel 54, and on WDCA in Washington.

Maryland (20-7, 10-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) is going after its fifth straight victory and is trying to stay close to Duke (12-2 in the ACC with a game Sunday at Virginia) before meeting at Comcast Center on Wednesday.

Virginia Tech (21-6, 8-5) is looking to break a two-game losing streak, with defeats on the road to the Blue Devils and a 20-point loss at Boston College Wednesday night. The Hokies have yet to lose this season at Cassell Coliseum.

The announcement of the delay came around 3 p.m.

Both teams went back to their dressing rooms, but Maryland coach Gary Williams and members of his staff spent part of the time watching the end of the North Carolina-Wake Forest game being fed onto the replay board inside the arena.

Former Alabama coach Wimp Sanderson, who was here as a color analyst for ESPN radio, might have had the best line of the day.

When someone showed him a picture of the truck -- actually it was van with a Bud Lite logo on it -- that caused the damage, Sanderson cracked, "Good thing it wasn't a big truck -- we'd be delayed a month and a half."

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