The other day we talked about the anniversary of the Miracle Minute game in College Park and mentioned that the teams had met four times in the 2000-2001 season. Maryland won in Cameron but Duke won in Atlanta in the ACC Tournament semi-finals and then again in Minneapolis in the Final Four.
This is the game from Atlanta.
What made Maryland a special team was the backcourt of Juan Dixon, a cat-quick guard who played at a very high level intellectually, and Steve Blake, who was a cold-blooded punk assassin. It was one of the all-time great backcourts in ACC history.
The game went back and forth and at the end, Duke was wearing down and Maryland wasn’t going anywhere.
Mike Dunleavy gave Duke a three-point lead with 16.5 left only to see Blake tie the game with a three with 8.1 left on the clock.
Overtime seemed a sure thing, but then Nate James wrote his name in the long blue line of Duke legend.
Jason Williams took the ball to the hole but missed. Then James went up and got the tip-in with 1.3 left.
What was great here - from a Duke perspective anyway - was the basic fundamentals here.
James went to follow the shot. In the excitement of the moment, the Maryland players forgot to block out and James got the easy tip-in.
It was doubly sweet because not only did James pick Duke over Maryland but Maryland fans abused his family for that.