The game was billed as the best game of the ACC season. It was billed as the most important game in the history of the Comcast Center. It would decide ACC Player of the Year. It had more storylines than you could possibly comprehend. And it lived up to the billing.
After starting out as hot as possible and bursting out to a 14 point lead, Maryland slowly relented to Duke, who eventually took the lead in the early second half. From that point on, the game was tense and intense, the two teams trading baskets until the final minute. That's when Greivis Vasquez hit a difficult runner in the lane to take a four point lead that essentially iced the game. Maryland would hit a few more free throws and finish out the game with a dramatic 7 point win, 79-72.
Vasquez was the best player tonight, bar none. He had 20 points and hit the game-icing shot that's quite possibly the hardest shot I've ever seen him make. There's no way I'd rather end Greivis Vasquez's amazing career than this type of game - a huge home win over Duke that he was instrumental in.
As for the ACC player of the year race, it's over. Vasquez got the win and was sensational in doing so. Jon Scheyer didn't embarass himself, but he lost and was outdueled by Vasquez in the process. If Scheyer wins, it will be an injustice.
Major, major props go out to Jordan Williams, too. There's no doubt anymore that he'll be a great player in a year or two, if he isn't already - 15 points and 11 rebounds in this type of game is a major achievement. Even more notable was his 7-9 performance from the line - given his record from this area, that's just amazing. Even more notable was his amazing poster dunk over Scheyer early:
Eric Hayes was also instrumental on his Senior Day. He wasn't as flashy as Greivis, but he made some ridiculous layups and was just what you expect Eric Hayes to be: steady and consistent.
Not to go on too long, but if I'm doing this I have to talk about Sean Mosley and Adrian Bowie. Bowie had some amazing shots and actually looked pretty good running the point, and Mosley was quietly great as well.
I don't want to talk too much, so to close it out: Maryland is could (should) climb to around 15 if they can beat Virginia on Saturday. They're a Sweet 16-quality team right now. Gary Williams is the ACC Coach of the Year. Greivis Vasquez is the best player in the ACC. And the rivalry with Duke, no matter how much they deny it, is probably back on.
And oh, almost forgot to mention: if Maryland beats Virginia on Saturday, they clinch at least a share of the ACC title. That hasn't happened since the '01-02 year. If Duke loses to UNC, then Maryland wins outright. Otherwise, they'll be the #2 seed in the ACC tournament.
Now go out and enjoy an amazing win. Go to Bentley's!