In shocking and exciting fashion, the Terps stunned third-ranked North Carolina today in overtime, 88-85.
Down nine at the half and as much as 16 at one point, the Terps, led by the all-around play of Greivis Vasquez and the hot shooting of Cliff Tucker, battled back against the Tar Heels and finally earned an important in-conference victory.
Vasquez finished the game with the third triple-double in Maryland history; he had 35 points (13-24 shooting), 11 rebounds, and 10 assists. He also had seven turnovers -- but whatever. Tucker came out of nowhere to hit five of seven three-pointers and had 22 points. Hayes added 17 points, but no one else scored more than six.
Facing a size disadvantage, Maryland was outrebounded 46 to 38. Yet the Terps held Tyler Hansbrough to 11 points on four-of-12 shooting. North Carolina also shot just 26.3 percent from three-point range, compared to a crazy 64 percent in their 108-91 victory over the Terps on Feb. 3.
Now 6-6 in the ACC, the Terps' final four games include: No. 9 Duke, at N.C. State, No. 8 Wake Forest, and at Virginia. Winning two of the four and winning at least one game in the ACC Tournament would seemingly point to an NCAA Tournament berth for Gary Williams. Three wins would certainly guarantee it, though that is unlikely.
Nonetheless, the win over UNC is huge, and the Terps should be ecstatic.
AP Photo/Rob Carr