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Sports Terps

A memory that won't fade

Everything seemed to be breaking right for the Terps. Until, suddenly, it wasn't.

Maryland's men basketball players, led by Atlantic Coast Conference player of the year Greivis Vasquez, sat on folding chairs in their tiny dressing room at Spokane (Wash.) Arena as they were about to practice for their second-round NCAA tournament matchup with Michigan State.

It had appeared that No. 1 seed Kansas would be blocking the Terps' path if Maryland advanced to the Sweet 16 in St. Louis. But Northern Iowa knocked off Kansas, making the Jayhawks the first top seed to fall. Maryland players and assistant coaches were intently watching the Kansas game in their dressing room and doing a little cheering for Northern Iowa.

Maryland's tournament possibilities seemed almost limitless.

The next day, the Terps overcame a 16-point deficit against Michigan State, taking an 83-82 lead on a Vasquez floater with 6.6 seconds remaining.

Then, the season ended. Michigan State's Korie Lucious, a career 32.7 percent shooter from beyond the arc, effectively ended the careers of Maryland's three starting seniors by taking a pass and beating the buzzer for an 85-83 victory. Michigan State's Delvon Roe had to duck to keep the pass to Lucious from hitting his head.

The fourth-seeded Terps were left dazed. Months later, Maryland coach Gary Williams shook his head as he recalled that game. "Just the idea that the guy ducked on the pass," said Williams as he sat in his Comcast Center office. "I'll live with that forever, you know?"

Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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