This afternoon, we joined 15,849 others at Comcast to watch the Maryland women lose their fifth game of a season to a Duke squad that was rolling.
It is always a bummer to watch the women lose, but the game itself was not a disappointment. Although fairly well beaten, the Terrapins did not roll over and Alyssa Thomas led a fiery comeback that sputtered and fell apart with poor shooting.
I'm looking forward to Maryland's enrollment in the Big Ten and have no qualms about the departure from the ACC. The annual Maryland-Duke women's basketball game will, nevertheless, be missed. The environment is unparalleled at Comcast. While the men's game is an outpouring of fear and loathing, the women's game is a genuine rivalry teeming with energy. Beating Maryland at Comcast means something to the Duke women.
The game obviously means something special to the community around here. Today's attendance was nearly four times the average game attendance for the season (~4,379). Before this afternoon, there hadn't been more than 5,153 people at a game for the season.
Even more remarkable: the attendance for the game was higher than for all but one of the Georgetown men's home games at Verizon this season (they drew 17,474 for the game against Louisville in January).
The women's basketball program will thrive in the Big Ten, but there's not likely to be anything to this event.