What's it with Maryland-North Carolina games and snow?

March 04, 2013|By Don Markus | The Baltimore Sun

What is it with Maryland and North Carolina when it comes to snowstorms?

With a prediction of a major snowfall hitting the region starting Tuesday night and going well into Wednesday, the plans of many hoping to attend Wednesday night’s game between the Terps and Tar Heels in College Park might be adjusted.

It could mark the second time in four years that the arrival of North Carolina coincided with a blizzard.

Snowpocalypse II hit the day of the 2010 game, which went on despite many Maryland fans not being able to get to Comcast Center. (Or even watch it on television, since the power was out.)

In that instance, the Tar Heels couldn’t even get to campus until game time, so they did their pregame walkthrough in the ballroom of the hotel where they were staying.

Former Maryland coach Gary Williams slept in his office the night before.

With mostly Maryland students in attendance, the Terps won by 21.

Then senior Greivis Vasquez, who led the Terps with 26 points and 11 assists, said that Comcast Center was the “loudest I’ve ever seen it since I was here” and Williams said of the fans, “if they had to take a dogsled they were coming to the game.”

A game scheduled for three days later against Virginia had to be pushed back five days because of the aftermath of the storm.

But it wasn’t the first time that the teams were scheduled to play either during or after a snowstorm.

Back in 2000, a late February game at the Dean Smith Center in Chapel Hill, N.C., between the Terps and Tar Heels went on despite a raging storm outside.

The school opened up the building to anyone who could make it, and the suddenly raucous atmosphere at the normally staid arena led to officials changing the policy by moving students closer to the court behind one of the baskets.

Former Baltimore Sun columnist John Eisenberg, who covered the game, wrote: “Ordinarily, North Carolina’s Dean Smith Center is about as loud as a library, about as intimidating as a night at the opera.

“Then there was last night. A basketball game was scheduled, and Woodstock broke out. All that was missing was the rain and a mosh pit. The Maryland Terrapins picked a bad night to make their annual visit.”

Former Tar Heels guard Ed Cota said he thought he had been transported a few miles down Highway 15-501.

“It sure felt like we were at Cameron or something,” Cota said.

The crowd rushed the floor after the Tar Heels won by 12, prompting Williams to crack: “I’ve never worried about that before here. Usually people sitting in the first 10 rows can’t run fast enough.”

Who’s going to win the tiebreaker Wednesday night?

And more importantly, where is Mark Turgeon going to sleep Tuesday night?

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