The Maryland-Duke rivalry is fading away. But before it disappears, the Blue Devils and their fans gave the Terps another blast Saturday of the noise and taunts and pressure defense that have come to characterize the teams' games at Cameron Indoor Stadium.
Maryland's 84-64 loss was its sixth straight to the No. 1 Blue Devils, who left the court smiling and feeling redeemed after a 27-point road loss at No. 25 Miami on Wednesday night. At least for now, things were set right in "Krzyzewskiville."
The Terps, who started freshmen Shaquille Cleare and Jake Layman in a new lineup designed to combat Duke's size, may get another opportunity to win at Cameron next season before departing for the Big Ten in July 2014. If so, they can only hope for a different outcome.
The Terps were undone by a hot-shooting freshman (Rasheed Sulaimon) in the first half and a steady senior (Mason Plumlee) in the second.
"I thought they [the Blue Devils] were fantastic. We didn't play that bad," said Maryland coach Mark Turgeon, whose Terps (15-5, 3-4 Atlantic Coast Conference) slipped below .500 in ACC play.
"The thing that's holding us back -- I've been saying it for about a month -- is immaturity," Turgeon said. "We don't have a Mason Plumlee for our young kids to rely on. We don't have that. So we're not going to grow up as quickly as a Duke team."
The game was too much of a shootout to suit the defensive-minded Terps, who haven't scored over 65 points in their last six games.
Maryland was formidable inside early.
"They're big and strong," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said of the Terps. "I thought they played very aggressive and good basketball."
The Terps collected 12 offensive rebounds in the first half and held Plumlee, Duke's leading scorer this season, to three shots before halftime. Last season, Plumlee had 39 points and 22 rebounds in Duke's two victories over the Terps, who had focused on trying to stop the Blue Devils' 3-point shooters.
Saturday was different. With Maryland's big bodies playing forceful inside defense, Duke (17-2, 4-2 ACC) found open shooters behind the arc. Sulaimon's game-leading 25 points included six 3-pointers.
"First half, they shot 70 percent from three," said Maryland's Dez Wells (13 points, eight rebounds). "The way they played today, they probably could beat any team in the country."
Maryland, which trailed 43-35 at the half, was hurt in the second half by foul trouble. The bulky Cleare, who was assigned to guard Plumlee early, picked up his third foul before halftime and was limited after that.
Plumlee had 15 of his 19 points in the second half, including a highlight-reel reverse dunk with 3:22 left that extended Duke's lead to 20.
After that, the Duke fans chanted "ACC, ACC" and "Not our rivals."
Maryland's best moment may have been a reverse dunk by center Alex Len (eight points, 10 rebounds) along the baseline in the first half. The dunk earned the biggest cheer of the day from a small, red-clad group of Terps fans sitting behind the Maryland bench.
"Shaq, me and Alex, all of us got in foul trouble, so coach [Turgeon] had to go a small lineup and it was a disadvantage," said Maryland forward Charles Mitchell (13 points, seven rebounds). "The foul trouble really messed us up because Shaq had him [Plumlee] down in the first half."
Maryland was missing guard Seth Allen in the first half. Turgeon said the freshman was disciplined for being late to a meeting. Allen played 10 minutes in the second half, scoring two points.
The Terps haven't won in Durham since 2007 and haven't beaten a top-ranked team since North Carolina in 2008.
The game presented the first opportunity for the Cameron Crazies to "comment" on Maryland's impending exit from the ACC. The school announced its Big Ten plans in November.
"Let's show them the way out of the ACC in style," said the Crazies' cheer sheet.
Signs held by many fans said "Good Riddance" with a Maryland logo displayed.
Krzyzewski was asked his feelings about Maryland's departure.
"I don't feel anything," he said. "I'm ecstatic that we won. Whatever decisions schools want to make, they make them."