New Big East-Big Ten series will twice give us Maryland vs. Georgetown

Georgetown vs. Maryland is a rivalry college hoops needs revived. (USATSI)

Finally. Finally these teams — sensibly geographic, natural rivals — will play each other once more.

Actually, make that twice.

Multiple reports have Maryland and Georgetown set to play each other next season and in 2017. No, the schools didn’t independently come to an agreement. They’re both still too stubborn and/or lazy to work that out.

We can thank made-for-TV matchups for the come-about. The “Gavitt Tipoff Games,” named in honor of a college hoops legend/the architect and former commissioner for the Big East, Dave Gavitt, will commence this fall. And when that happens, Georgetown will travel to Maryland.

Then the Hoyas will host in 2016-17.

For the love of all that’s right with natural geographic rivalries, it’s about damn time.

These teams haven’t played each other since 2008, and even that was in an exempt tournament event (Old Spice Classic). The rivalry flourished for more than 30 years, from 1947-1980, before headstrong athletic department officials went cold war on each other.

Georgetown and Maryland’s campuses are separated by 11 miles as the crow flies. The last on-campus game between the two was in 1993. If it took something like this for two of the nation’s top 25 programs to finally buck up and play each other, then so be it. The fact that these games are “on campus” (Georgetown will host at the Verizon Center, natch) makes it all the better.

The Gavitt Tipoff Games series is contracted for eight years. It’s unlikely Georgetown and Maryland will see each other in this inter-conference arrangement beyond 2017. But maybe these games go so well, the response is actually natural and logical: the schools will be spurred to agree to home-and-homes going forward.

We can dream. But let’s just be thankful we’re getting this.

Sources told CBSSports.com the rest of the 2015 matchups are: Xavier-Michigan, Nebraska-Villanova, Creighton-Indiana, Illinois-Providence, Penn State-DePaul, Iowa-Marquette and St. John’s-Rutgers.

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