After the disappointing news that Jordan Steffy will start at quarterback this year for the Terps, I'm coming through on my promise to provide you with the top ten moments in Maryland's Men's Basketball history to cheer everyone up. We start tonight with # 10, which happened in the 2003 NCAA Tournament. Maryland was playing UNC Wilmington in the 1st round, defending their 2002 NCAA tournament title and found themselves down by 1, 73-72, with 5 seconds left in the game and with the ball at the opposite end of the court from their basket. Gary Williams draws up one final play, in hopes of preventing Maryland, the #6 seed, from being upset by the #11 seed Seahawks.
Tahj Holden inbounds the ball to Drew Nicholas who dribbles down court, drives to his right, is double teamed and with 0.8 seconds left, puts up a three pointer as he fades away to the right. Being at that game, my first initial reaction was "NOOOO!" as the ball seemed like it was in the air forever. And then, all of the sudden "swoosh," 3 pointer, Drew nailed the shot, game over - Maryland wins 75-73 and moves onto the 2nd round (they would later lose in the Sweet 16 in San Antonio). The arena exploded with cheers. No one could believe what they just saw. How did he make that? Why did he even shoot that and not pass earlier?
After Nicholas released the ball, he held a pose of his right hand bent down, as if he just stot the ball, seeming to already know from the beginning that his shot would go in. After he made it, Gary Williams sprints angrily over to the scorers table, as the refs reviewed the show since it happened inside of 1 second. Gary went crazy initially until assistant coach (now Loyola of Maryland's head Coach) Jimmy Pathos grabs Gary to tell him the shot was good but by rule the refs must review the shot.
It was truly an unreal event to witness, especially in person. Just chalk it up to some NCAA tourney magic. The next week in practice in San Antonio, prepping for the Sweet 16 game, Nicholas tried to replicate the shot over and over but was never able to do it. Lets just be glad he made it when it counted.
Here is the video for the show:
Drew Nicholas Shot (via ghetosuperstar30
Up next, the #9 moment. Stay tuned...