In his first NCAA Tournament game, senior Varun Ram sat on the bench. The Terps were in a lot of foul trouble, with junior forward Jake Layman and center Damonte Dodd, both starters, having fouled out of the game. But the 5'9" Ram still hadn't seen the court as Maryland's back court remained in the game. But with 13 seconds left and the Terps desperately holding onto a three point lead, head coach Mark Turgeon inserted Ram to replace freshman Jared Nickens.
Ram was guarding Valpo's 6'1" junior guard Keith Carter as the game's final seconds unfolded. Ram, who is arguably Maryland's smartest player with a 3.9 GPA, is majoring in neurobiology and physiology. And he just made one of the most important plays of the season for the Terps.
"I'm a little bit of a nerd, it's true," Ram said in Showtime's recent documentary Hoops U, which profiled both Maryland and Notre Dame's basketball team this season. "I almost take pride in it.
He's also just one of five division 1 players who is of Indian descent.
"Varun, he's probably the smartest guy on the team," freshman Melo Trimble said about Ram during the Showtime special. Now, he can add that he made one of the most important plays of the season as well.