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Maryland stares down the beast at Cameron Indoor

Let's get this out of the way first: Duke played about as badly as you'll ever see it play in its 71-64 win over Maryland Sunday night in Durham.

That's no knock on the Terps, who turned in a gutty effort, led by sensational sophomore Jordan Williams' 23 points, 13 rebounds and two blocked shots.

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But I can't remember the last time I saw the Blue Devils shoot so poorly and look so disorganized on offense -- and so tentative on defense. Can't remember the last time Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski had to call a time-out to settle down his team, either.

And when was the last time you saw Coach K lacing into his players like that during a T.O., gesturing fiercely, with spittle flying from his mouth? Why, I thought I even saw a thin sheen of perspiration on his forehead! Like he was actually, um, worried there for a moment.

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No question Duke was reeling at several key points in the game, especially when the Terps started the second half on a 7-0 run and opened a 38-32 lead. And Maryland, to its credit, took full advantage of the confusion, getting big shots from Williams and Cliff Tucker (14 points), hanging tough and giving itself a chance to win.

No, Maryland didn't win. And maybe there are no moral victories in the ACC or any other top conference. But this Duke team is loaded. I've been calling them the Boston Celtics of college basketball since the beginning of the season.

Yes, the Blue Devils were at less than their best last night. But Maryland went into the most intimidating arena in the land, Cameron Indoor Stadium, and refused to be intimidated, staying with a great Duke team for nearly 40 minutes.

You have to give the Terps props for that.

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