clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Duke Makes Miracle Comeback, Stuns Terps

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

& Audio

What can you say about a game like this? Duke plays maybe the worst
game its played in years, Maryland plays a brilliant, absolutely admirable
game, controls Duke, punishes Duke, looks like a Final Four team - for 39
minutes and 4 seconds. The rest belonged to Duke, and most of all to Jason
Williams and Shane Battier, and, lest we forget, two clutch free throws by Nate

We actually walked away from the set with just over a minute left and were
planning to listen to the end on the radio so that we wouldn't have to watch the
Maryland fans storm the court. That about the time they started chanting
"over-rated" back at the school where the cheer originated, and Jason
Williams decided he had enough.

Duke started pushing the ball to the basket, drawing fouls, and scored 10
points in the last 56 seconds to put the game in overtime. The Maryland
fans went from ecstatic to shattered, and who can blame them?

To be fair, as we said, Maryland thoroughly outplayed Duke for the great
majority of the game, and in particular Steve Blake was simply brilliant.
Don't take this comparison the wrong way, but there was an average NBA player
named, we think, Nathaniel "Sweetwater" Clifton. He was an average player against
every team, never particularly excelling - until he came up against Wilt

Clifton had a sweet career frustrating Chamberlain. No one completely
stopped Chamberlain, but he just had a knack.

There's no one who would argue for drafting Steve Blake ahead of Jason
Williams, because Williams is vastly more talented. Blake, though, is a gutty,
gutty kid who never backs down and who gets the most out of what he has. We
thought he would be overmatched in the ACC. Boy were we wrong.

And you have to say: Duke didn't come back on Maryland while Blake was in the
game. He provides a lot of stability for Maryland, and a lot of
backbone. When he went out, Duke's task was immensely simplified.

Nonetheless, Maryland didn't have to keep stopping the clock for Duke.
The natural comparison for Duke fans is the 8 points in 16 second game vs. UNC.
This was probably the closest we'll ever see to that again.

Until the remarkable comeback, there really wasn't much to celebrate in this
game. It was rife with errors, Maryland was more aggressive, and we were
fully prepared to congratulate them. As a matter of fact, when we put the
picture on the front page of the moon landing, our original caption, now edited,
was "Maryland Was Out Of This World." Perhaps the only really
good point for Duke was the first couple of minutes and the remarkable last
second shot before the half, which, in another echo, brought up the Kentucky
game in miniature.

For Maryland fans, though they lost, they should take a lot out of this game,
specifically the knowledge that they can play with anyone, anywhere, -ferably against someone else, though.

Notes - the Maryland fans had signs saying "Terps vs. Evil" and
"Beat Puke" which tells you something about Maryland one
point near the end they showed Brad Daugherty and he did not look
happy...grimacing, shaking his head....for Duke, this was one of the all-time
great comebacks and in some ways compensates for the 74 UNC game....we'll have
more on this tomorrow...