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The Dagger: College Basketball Blog

Eight memories that will endure even after the Duke-Maryland rivalry ends

Jeff Eisenberg
The Dagger

With Maryland headed to the Big Ten next season and Mike Krzyzewski adamant in his refusal to schedule the Terps, Saturday's matchup in Durham could be the final meeting between the longtime foes for quite some time. As a result, here's a look at eight iconic games, moments or pranks that will endure in our memories long after the rivalry itself comes to an end this weekend.

1. The Miracle Minute: Duke trailed Maryland by 10 points with less than a minute to play in their first of four meetings in 2001 when Jason Williams spearheaded one of the great comebacks in college basketball history. Williams scored a layup, made a steal and buried a left-wing 3-pointer to slice the lead in half. Then after Maryland's Drew Nicholas missed two free throws, Williams drained a top-of-the-key 3-pointer to cut the lead to two, paving the way for another Duke steal and a pair of Nate James free throws to force overtime. The Blue Devils won 98-96 in overtime in front of a stunned Cole Fieldhouse, the first of four epic games between the two teams that season.

2. The Final Four comeback: In a national semifinal that marked the fourth meeting between the two ACC rivals during the 2000-01 season, Duke staged the largest rally ever in a Final Four game. The Blue Devils stormed back from a 39-17 first-half deficit, getting to within 11 at halftime and taking their first lead with seven minutes to go. Nate James' second-half defense on Juan Dixon was key, as was the 19 points scored off the bench by Carlos Boozer, who had missed the previous month with a broken foot. Duke's rally enabled the Blue Devils to win the third of Mike Krzyzewski's four national titles two nights later against Arizona.

3. "Oh, he steal!" Maryland led top-ranked Duke by seven in their second meeting in 2002 when Steve Blake made a play that helped swing momentum in the Terps' favor both that day and the rest of the season. As Jason Williams looked back at Mike Krzyzewski while dribbling down the clock late in the first half, Blake took advantage, streaking in to poke the ball away, corral it and race down court for a layup with three seconds to play. It was such a stunning sequence that CBS analyst Billy Packer could barely speak English while describing it. "Oh, he steal!" was all Packer could say. The Terps went on to win that game 87-73 and to lose only once more the rest of the season on their way to the national championship.

4. The game that started it all: To trace the origin of the Duke-Maryland rivalry, you have to go back to March 1, 1980. That's when the Blue Devils began to replace North Carolina as the team the Terps despised most. With Maryland trailing by a point in the closing seconds of the ACC title game, Albert King tried a turnaround jump shot that bounced high off the rim. Terps forward Buck Williams appeared poised to grab an offensive rebound and perhaps put it back in for the game-winning basket, but Kenny Dennard undercut Williams without drawing a foul, enabling Duke to grab the rebound and secure a one-point win. It was the fourth time Lefty Driesell took a team to the ACC title game and the fourth time he lost, though the Terps would get revenge four years later against the Devils.

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photo via (@mymanpat)

5. Scheyer Face: When they weren't rioting in the streets of College Park or chanting obscenities at J.J. Redick, Maryland's student body unveiled some clever jabs at Duke's expense during the heyday of the rivalry. None was better, however, then when Terps fans invented the phenomenon known as "Scheyer Face." Duke guard Jon Scheyer had a habit of making particularly goofy facial expressions during games, so a group of Maryland students printed photos of them and handed out hundreds of copies for each of Scheyer's last few visits to Maryland. As evidenced by the photo to the right, the results were often pretty hilarious.

6. "Sweat, Gary Sweat." There were two chants that immediately signaled you were at a Duke-Maryland game in Durham if you heard them. The first was "Not our rival," a chant the Cameron Crazies used to remind Maryland fans that no matter how much they hated Duke, North Carolina will always be the Blue Devils' primary adversary. The second was the "Sweat, Gary Sweat" chant, which poked fun at Maryland coach Gary Williams' propensity to sweat through his shirt and blazer. It was funny, it was clever and above all else, it drove Williams crazy. Said Williams in the Washington Post's excellent documentary on the Maryland-Duke rivalry, "I thought Duke [would be] a little more creative than that after a while. You know, that’s all they had."

7. Greivis the Great! A brilliant game-clinching runner from Greivis Vasquez in his final home game at Maryland helped clinch a share of the 2010 ACC title for the Terps and gave Vasquez a leg up in the league player of the year race. With less than a minute remaining and Maryland clinging to a two-point lead, Vasquez got Scheyer on his hip, shielded the Duke star with his off hand and somehow sank a one-handed runner in the lane as his momentum took him away from the rim. Scheyer futilely tried to answer at the other end, but his wild shot that failed to draw iron. Maryland's 79-72 victory marked the last time in the rivalry that the two teams met with the ACC title at stake.

8. The Lefty Driesell scullcaps: Since longtime Maryland coach Lefty Driesell was nearly bald, Duke students used to mimic his likeness by attending games against the Terps clad in skullcaps. What made the gag fun was Driesell would inevitably poke fun right back at the Cameron Crazies. One year Driesell showed up wearing a wig. Another year he rubbed the "bald" head of a Duke student behind his bench for good luck. When a Duke student asked Driesell to sign his skullcap, Driesell, a Duke alum, famously signed only an X. Said Driesell afterward, "I told 'em that since I went to Duke, I never learned to write."

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