The men’s basketball team’s 81-69 win over Navy is not likely to trigger any sort of shift in the course of the program, but it marked the team’s first win in three years at an event that helped propel it to the national stage earlier this decade.
From 2004 through 2006, the Colonials went undefeated at the BB&T Classic, knocking off four power-conference opponents in three years and helping make a name for itself on the college basketball scene.
Along with Maryland, GW is one of the original co-hosts of the event, which began in 1995 and was originally played as a four-team, two-day tournament that attracted marquee opponents for the two local schools. The Colonials upset No. 9 Michigan State and No. 12 Maryland in 2004 – the last year of the tournament format – and beat the Terrapins again the next year, when they were ranked 21st in the country.
GW knocked off Virginia Tech the following year in 2006, but lost to Auburn and Maryland at the BB&T the last two seasons.
The Colonials are now 13-12 all-time in the event, which benefits the District’s Children’s Charities Foundation. It was conceptualized and organized by CCF Chairman Peter B. Teeley and Washington Post sportswriter John Feinstein, who works as a television commentator during the telecast.
“It’s right in line with our university’s mission overall,” head coach Karl Hobbs said. “We feel very honored just to be a part of it.”
The event, which includes a black-tie gala the night before what is now a double-header of games, has raised approximately $8 million in its 15 years.
“We all know these are tough economic times, but the support has been just unbelievable,” Hobbs said. “It’s just a great thing for GW to be a part of.”