Terps knock off #1 UNC

January 20, 2008 |

For the 7th time since his arrival at Maryland, Gary Williams’ crew has knocked off the No. 1 team in the country, defeating UNC 82-80 at the Dean Dome.

Shame on you if you missed one of the most exciting, fast-paced basketball games of the season. Maybe ESPN will show it again as an “instant classic”. Yes, the game was that good.

Maryland played an inspired and very physical game. Bambale “Boom” Osby was a man in the paint against UNC’s all-American Tyler Hansbrough, which is no small feat, and James Gist may have played his best all-around game of the season.

After a rocky start Grieves Vasquez settled down, had 12 points, 11 assists and stepped it up big time down the stretch.

The other two starters, Landon Milbourne and Cliff Tucker, both played well. Surprisingly, Maryland’s foot speed and quickness were a problem for UNC. The Terps repeatedly crashed the boards then beat Carolina down the court for easy transition buckets.

Yep, Carolina’s team full of McDonald’s all-Americans had a hard time keeping up with Gary’s group of kids who eat at McDonalds!

It was a true “team win” and Maryland’s depth definitely helped, with solid contributions off the bench from Adrian Bowie, Shane Walker and the seldom used Dave Neal.

PG Eric Hayes, who was not supposed to play today while nursing the dreaded “high ankle sprain” (whatever that is), played very well off the bench, hitting a couple of threes and doing a good job not turning the ball over.

UNC has a ton of talent, a loud home crowd, made their run late in the game and took the lead. To the Terps credit, instead of folding they stepped up, grabbed the lead back, won the game and literally left the crowd in tears.

Maryland, now 12-7 overall, 2-2 ACC has a week of to prepare for the Doooookies, who come to Comcast center on Sunday night.

Can they build off this win, or was it a blind squirrel finding a nut?