Posted: 10:39 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 24, 2013
By Dave Tucker
Remember how people were talking about Maryland Madness being kind of boring and not that fun of an event anymore? What if it was held in Cole Field House? Would that change your mind?
Maryland's athletic department announced today that the October 18th event will be taking place in the legendary arena, which last hosted a basketball game on March 3, 2002, when Maryland trounced the University of Virginia 112-92. That was the only game that season I went to as a regular student and not a member of Maryland's Pep Band. We had to camp out for tickets and they decided to let students into Cole earlier than what was originally said, causing a mob of students to rush towards the doors to get inside. Here is an amazing long form story that SBNation did about that game, involving the tragic death of one of Maryland's walk on players from that season, Earl Badu.
"Cole Field House represented many of the most iconic and memorable moments in Maryland basketball program history," head coach Mark Turgeon said in a press release. "Cole was host to multiple hall of fame coaches and countless All-Americans that helped make Maryland basketball what it is today. It will be a special evening for our fans, students, alumni and our university as we reconnect with the historic past of Cole Field House and Maryland basketball."
Ever since Cole closed its doors to basketball, following a welcome home celebration and banner raising after winning the National Championship in April of 2002, the building has been used primarily as an intramural sports facility for indoor soccer. The original hardwood floor was cut up and sold as commemorative plaques. The original center court from the building now hangs on the wall in the Comcast Center, next to the floor from the 2002 Final 4 in Atlanta. That means Maryland is going to have to rent or purchase a court to put down for the event which raises a question - could Maryland possibly hold a game in Cole in the near future? This was an idea I had suggested to some of the Athletic Department folks last year during the NIT, but they weren't sure if it would be logistically possible. Perhaps this is a test run for holding a future event in the venue? Maybe a non-conference game that would otherwise not generate much attention or interest? We'll have to wait and see.
I'm really excited about this. The atmosphere inside that building was just electric and incredible. It was just so loud and exciting.
Are you excited about this? What's your favorite memory from Cole? Here is mine: