The 2014-15 Maryland Terrapins' season came to a close last Sunday with a loss to West Virginia in the third round of the NCAA tournament, but that doesn't mean the season was a failure by any stretch.
The analysts didn't see much from this team, picking it to finish 10th in the pre-season Big Ten rankings. No one imagined a No. 4-seed for this team in the tournament, even if one feels they deserved a No. 3-seed. The fact of the matter is simple: the Maryland Terrapins rose above the expectations for one of the best seasons in the program's history.
The Terps won 28 games last season, helping secure a second place finish in the Big Ten, only finishing behind conference power Wisconsin. For a team picked to finish 10th, that's not too shabby.
With the excitement building around Maryland basketball again (yes, the team just landed Diamond Stone, so it's only getting better), let's take a look at some of the notable seasons in Maryland basketball history and see where last season stacks up.
1. 2001-02 National Championship season
This is certainly the most memorable season for Terps fan with the program defeating Indiana in the National Championship game to finally bring an NCAA championship to the program. The team was led by Juan Dixon who finished his season averaging 20.4 points per game. But this team was special. It featured four double-digit scorers per game (Dixon, Chris Wilcox, Lonny Baxter and Steve Blake) and averaged 85 points per game while giving up just 70 per game. The Terps dominated opponents and lost just one ACC game during the regular season to Duke. They also dominated throughout the NCAA tournament, with their closest margin being eight points against UConn in the Elite Eight. How fun was this team?
2. 2000-01 season
The Terps found their way to the NCAA Final Four this season, led once again by the high-scoring offense of Juan Dixon. This team showed the promise that gave Terps fans the hopes of winning a national championship. With a high-scoring offense and strong defense, the Terps dominated opponents but fell just short in the Final Four. The team finished 25-11 that season, so not quite the same team as the national championship team who finished 32-4, but it set the stage for that team.
3. 1998-99 season
We all remember Steve Francis and his ability to throw it down on any given moment, but this team was strong all around. The team was led by Francis, Laron Profit and Terence Morris, helping get to the NCAA tournament before eventually losing in the Sweet 16 to St. John's. The Terps went 28-6 that season, ranking as high as No. 2 in the country at one point in the season.
4. 1994-95 season
Joe Smith was one of the top Terps to come from the program, and he put in on display during the 1994-95 season. The team went 26-8 during the season, but fell in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament. What was impressive is this team went 16-0 at home, but went 4-4 on the road. The Terps featured five scorers in double-digit for averages, setting up for classic contests against rivals and ACC opponents throughout the season. This was another team capable of a strong run in the tournament, but fell short of those goals.
Last season ranks somewhere amongst these four historic seasons for the Maryland Terrapins program. Maryland has been known as a basketball school for years, and is seemingly returning to that dominance once again with the promising talent on the roster in Melo Trimble, Jared Nickens, Robert Carter and now, Diamond Stone. Where does last season rank amongst program history for you?