My favorite memory I experienced from Maryland's time in the ACC -- and it's only been the last 26 years for me -- is NOT Maryland making the Final Four in 2001 or winning the NCAA title in 2002, although it easily could have been. It also isn't Maryland beating NC State in 2001 to guarantee a trip to the Orange Bowl.
No, my favorite memory comes from 2010 and was a shining moment for a basketball season that ended in heartbreak.
March 3, 2010 - #23 Maryland 79, #4 Duke 72
The Greivis Vasquez 'Senior Night' game.
Vasquez celebrated what was a legendary career for the University of Maryland. One of the most affable and beloved athletes to ever set foot in College Park, Vasquez had a big game and hit clutch shots down the stretch.
"This is a dream come true," Vasquez said after the game.
Vasquez hit three shots in the final five minutes that either tied the game for Maryland or put them in the lead, then hit the final two free throws to close out the game. He also added, and this cannot be understated, a massive on Jon Scheyer's layup attempt with thirty seconds left (and Maryland leading by 4).
Vasquez finished with 20 points (6-for-13 shooting), 5 rebounds, 5 assists, a steal and the clutch block. However, he wasn't the only key cog to have a big game.
Jordan Williams, a freshman at the time, had a double-double in one of the most important performances of his career. He finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds, and did a great job of shutting down Brian Zoubek. The same Brian Zoubek who earlier in the year had a career game against him with 16 points and 17 rebounds.
The only thing missing from this game was Greivis mopping the floor (he did that earlier in the year against Clemson).
The reason I loved it was the aforementioned Vasquez. I didn't love him when he first came to College Park, but once I started covering the team, I became a fan of his. We aren't supposed to be "fans" when we cover the team, but you couldn't help but be one for Vasquez.
Not only that, but other media members were celebrating after the game -- which I had only seen one time prior -- and then after the game how happy Gary Williams and the rest of the team looked.
I celebrated after this game, and I would never admit that publicly (until now). Judge me. This was a special game, one I still reminisce about to this day.
"They made every shot, we missed every shot -- although we were getting good looks," Scheyer said. "We felt pretty good going into halftime, knowing that was their best shot."
Guess you were wrong about that one, Jon.
The final three minutes from a fan: