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The Vault On Duke’s 2001 Comeback At Maryland

Terrapin fans have never really gotten over this one.

Shane Battier #31, Juan Dixon #3
Shane Battier blocking Juan Dixon

One of the great casualties of the rise of digital media has been the decline of Sports Illustrated because for decades, it was a towering presence in US sports media.

And it was great largely because the magazine had phenomenal writers: George Plimpton. Curry Kirkpatrick. The great Frank DeFord.

This article from SI’s The Vault is about the classic Duke comeback at Maryland, aka the Miracle Minute, in 2001.

This piece is by Jack McCallum and it really is fun to read. Check this passage out:

“However, in six minutes destined to live in infamy in College Park (the final minute of regulation and five in overtime), the Blue Devils pulled out a 98-96 victory that was as improbable as any you’ll ever see, a victory that further focused the national spotlight on Battier and Williams and left eighth-ranked Maryland—coaches, fans, players—with a case of transcendental blues it may not shake for quite a while. As he left the court, Terrapins coach Gary Williams, a man who even in the best of times does not feel much chi and whose record against Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski had just fallen to 3-22, looked as if he had been sentenced to watch eight hours of Coach K motivational speeches.“

Now that sums up that game about as well as you possibly can. Maryland was good, but you could see them starting to melt down, not least of all Gary Williams, who had a tendency to lose it on the bench.