Sports in Cole Field House

For nearly half a century, Cole Field House was the site of many of the University of Maryland’s greatest sporting events, as well as the site of numerous national and world events. Many memorable basketball games were played at Cole Field House, including six upsets of a #1 team by the Terps, two NCAA Final Fours, several NCAA 1st and 2nd round games, a few Maryland High School state championship games (including one featuring Lew Alcindor, who is now known as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar) and the nation’s first televised Women’s basketball game. In addition to basketball, Cole has been the home of many of the University’s other sports such as wrestling and track. Cole was also the site of ping pong matches between the United States and China in 1972, which was the first sporting event between the two countries.

Timeline of Great Sporting Events

Cole Field House has epitomized Sports at the University of Maryland and has hosted many influential national events. Here is a timeline of important events in Cole’s History:

  • Program for the first game at Cole Field House1955: Cole Field House is dedicated. On December 2, Maryland defeated Virginia 67-55 in the first basketball game at Cole.
  • 1958: Maryland wins the Atlantic Coast Conference.
  • 1959: The Terps achieve their first victory of a #1 team in Cole, when they defeat the North Carolina Tar Heels 69-51.
  • 1966: The NCAA Final Four is hosted at Cole. Kentucky defeated Duke, and Texas Western (Now Texas El-Paso) defeated Utah in the semifinals. In the finals, a mixed-race Texas Western defeated an all-white Kentucky team in one of the most important and memorable games in NCAA history. This game is depicted in the feature film “Glory Road”.
  • 1970: Cole hosts the NCAA Final Four once again. This time, UCLA beats Jacksonville for their 4th of 7 straight titles.
  • 1971: Maryland defeats South Carolina in a “slow down” game by the final score of 31-30 in overtime. After leading at halftime 4-3, the Terps tie the game with a layup by Jim O’Brien and win the game in overtime on an 11-foot jumpshot by O’Brian.
  • Ping-pong match between China and the USA1972: Cole hosts a ping pong match between China and the United States, which is the first sporting event between the two nations. The event was attended by many important people, including Patricia Nixon, President Nixon’s youngest daughter.
  • 1975: Maryland Women’s Basketball takes on defending national champion Immaculata in what would be the first televised Women’s basketball game in history. The Terps would lose, however, 80-48.
  • 1979: The Terps upset #1 Notre Dame, 67-66, marking their second win over a #1 ranked team at Cole Field House.
  • 1982: #1 Virginia walks out of Cole with a loss as the Terps beat them 47-46 in overtime. This is the 3rd win over a #1 at Cole.
  • 1984: Maryland, once again, brings home the ACC title.
  • 1991: Cole hosts the first round of the NCAA tournament. For the first time in the history of the NCAA tournament, a #15 seed team defeats a #2 seed when Richmond takes down Syracuse 73-69. This upset has happened only 3 times since in the NCAA tournament.
  • 1995: Maryland upsets #1 North Carolina 86-73 in front of a sell out crowd. This is the 4th upset of a #1 team by the Terps at Cole.
  • 1995: Maryland achieves its 400th win by defeating American University, 104-79.
  • Program for the last game played in Cole Field House1998: Once again, Maryland takes down #1 North Carolina by the score of 89-83 in overtime. This is the 5th #1 team to go down at Cole.
  • 2002: The Maryland Terrapins play their last season in Cole. On February 17, 2002, the Terps upset then #1 Duke 87-73, which is the 6th upset of a #1 team in Cole. On March 3rd, the Terps play their final game at Cole when they defeat UVA by the score of 112-92. And to cap off their final season, the Terps bring home a national title to Cole by winning the NCAA tournament.