Note - we had a link up to the Miracle Minute instead. It’s been updated.
We’re pretty sure we’ve linked this before but since we heard that Wednesday was the anniversary of Duke’s 2001 Final Four comeback against Maryland. In the canon of great Duke games, it’s probably underrated.
First, remember that Maryland was a very, very good team. Led by Juan Dixon and Steve Blake, the Terps were nearly Duke’s equal.
Nearly, but not.
The then-ACC rivals played four times that season with Duke winning three. The first was the Miracle Minute/Gone In 54 Seconds game in College Park, but people forget that Maryland was in total control of that game until Duke’s legendary comeback. People forget that Blake fouled out of that one though.
Maryland won in Durham on Senior Day, but people forget that Duke finished without Carlos Boozer who broke his foot.
Duke then won the conference rubber match in Atlanta in the ACC Tournament 84-82 when Maryland somehow failed to block out Nate James.
By the time the teams met in the Final Four in Minneapolis, Maryland had just about had enough of Duke and built a 22-point first-half lead.
Mike Krzyzewski did something unusual for any coach: he gave up control, telling his players he wasn't going to call any plays because they already knew what to do.
It was a master stroke of coaching and soon enough, chaos broke out on the Maryland bench. It was perfectly obvious to everyone what was happening and part of the pleasure of it was watching the Maryland staff wail and flail, understanding what was happening but with no way whatsoever to stop it.
Duke’s comeback was the largest in Final Four history and the Blue Devils ultimately won by 11. Duke won every NCAA Tournament game by double digits, but only the win over Arizona was more satisfying than that win over the Terps.