I know that technically this week I am supposed to be recapping the past decade of the Maryland-Duke rivalry, and this article is clearly spanning back to 2002, but there is simply no way I can leave out one of the most symbolic games of this rivalry. For the sake of this article, please understand the oversight.
Let me also say that this was incredibly difficult to exclude some games, including the “Gone in 54 seconds” even that scarred Maryland fans for years to come (and still currently hurts). These are just some of the best ones in College Park over the past decade.
5.) February 11th, 2006 – 96-88 Duke victory
This game stands out as one of the more memorable of the last decade for a number of reasons. Setting the stage, it was a game in which Gary Williams was honored pregame for being Maryland’s winningest coach with 349 victories. His 350th victory would have come against a team which had beaten him 29 times in 40 tries. Then, it featured one of the least popular and most hated Duke players in the history of this rivalry in J.J. Redick, who was playing his last game in College Park, having been swept the previous season and losing 3 of 4 in College Park.
Of course, by the score above you can tell that the Terrapins lost in a pretty poor fashion. Redick pummeled the Terrapins with 35 points, and Shelden Williams chipped in 26 points, 13 rebounds and 7 blocks to twist the knife in the Terps back. Redick walked off the court with a final win, and Maryland fans walked out of the arena early because they were so pissed.
4.) February 11th, 2007 – 72-60 Maryland victory
This one is memorable because it was the coming of the Greivis Vasquez-era Terrapins. Vasquez guided the Terrapins to a 29-4 run to start the first half, and the Terrapins rolled the rest of the game. The game was great because it sent Duke on their first 4-game losing streak since 1996, and their first 14-point ACC loss since 2003 against the Chris Paul-led Wake Forest Demon Deacons.
Maryland fans knew about the Vasquez “Shimmy Shake,” but he unveiled it for the rest of the nation that day and his legend continued to grow from then on.
3.) March 4, 2010, 79-72 Maryland victory
There’s nothing like beating the enemy on Senior Night, and that’s exactly what Greivis Vasquez, Landon Milbourne, and Eric Hayes did against Duke. It wasn’t just the victory that made the moment so special, but rather the additional awards that were at stake during the game. A share of the ACC title for the Terrapins team, ACC Player of the Year for Greivis Vasquez, and ACC Coach of the Year for Gary Williams all rode on the outcome of this game.
Maryland, of course, went for the clean sweep and got it, securing all the hardware with the outcome of that game.
2.) February 12th, 2005 – 99-92 Maryland OT victory
This was arguably the most exciting Terrapins victory of this past decade, but I won’t pretend that selecting this over plenty of other games wasn’t difficult. What made it so special was that this game marked the first time since 1995 that the Terrapins swept Duke during the regular season, it was their first three game winning streak against Duke since 1982, and, of course, it was an overtime thriller.
Maryland was clearly the inferior team heading into the matchup, but damned if Gary Williams didn’t coach those boys up to their full potential. Duke was 18-2 at the time, sporting five future NBA players in their starting rotation, while Maryland was 14-7 and 5-5 in the ACC.
In typical Garyland fashion, the Terrapins ground the game out and got to the foul line a whopping 39 times and managed to foul out five Duke players in the process. When Shelden Williams fouled out in overtime, the writing was on the wall for #7 Duke to get upset. They missed all nine field goals in OT, while the Terrapins finished the game with six players (Chris McCray, Nik Caner-Medley, Travis Garrison, Ekene Ibekwe, Mike Jones, and John Gilchrist) score in double figures. Unlike today’s team, this one only turned the ball over once in the first half…
1.) February 17th, 2002 – 87-73 Maryland victory
You can’t call yourself a Maryland fan and not recall this one. The #1 and #3 teams in the country playing against one another, an undefeated Duke team against a hungry Maryland team on the cusp of greatness. The game featured ten future NBA players, and was one of the most intriguing matches of the season which was certain to be a precursor to the NCAA tournament. Adding even more suspense to the game, it was the final time the two would be playing on the hallowed ground that was Cole Fieldhouse.
We all know the story: Maryland went on to run away with the game with a 38-29 point lead at halftime and never really trailed throughout the game. Of course, who can forget the Steve Blake steal:
The steal heard round the world! Perhaps the loudest that arena had ever been. Blake was feeling it that game, and was swishing three pointers on the Duke end during pregame warm ups. Of course Maryland and their fans got hosed after the game despite absolutely exposing Duke as being frauds, by never making it to #1 in the AP or USA Today polls afterwards. Kansas remained #2, until Maryland took care of them as well in the NCAA Tournament, where they went on to win Maryland’s first National Championship and cement themselves as a legendary team.