The Maryland men's basketball team beat Hawaii on Sunday night, 73-60, in the second round of the NCAA Tournament in Spokane, Wash.
As a result, the Terps will face Kansas in a Sweet 16 clash in Louisville, Ky., on Thursday, their first trip that deep into the tournament since 2003. The winner of that South Region semifinal will play for a Final Four berth in an Elite Eight game at the same site on Saturday.
The fifth-seeded Terrapins struggled badly for the first 28 minutes of the game. But a sudden and massive 14-point run over a two-minute stretch in the middle of the second half catapulted them ahead, and they stormed to the finish to put away the 12th-seeded Rainbow Warriors.
The numbers were not pretty, but they were enough. Maryland shot 46 percent from the field and 1-of-18 on three-pointers. Melo Trimble led the team with 24 points on 13-of-14 foul shooting. Diamond Stone and Rasheed Sulaimon each had 10, and Jake Layman reached double figures, too.
The Rainbow Warriors out-rebounded Maryland badly (16-3 on offense) but lost their shooting stroke in the second half, while the Terps drained a barrage of free throws to seal the game.
In some senses, Maryland's first half was terrible. The Terps shot 0-of-8 on three-pointers, and they continued to chuck them up even as they were 9-of-12 on twos and 10-of-10 from the foul line in the first 20 minutes. They also lost the first-half offensive rebounding margin 8-1, but they managed to get into the break with a one-point lead based almost solely on free throws. While the Terps got 10 points at the line, the Rainbow Warriors didn't earn a single trip there – despite a handful of shameless embellishments designed to do exactly that. In sum, Maryland led at the half, 28-27.
Things looked uneasy for the first nine minutes or so of the second half, too. Maryland trailed by two points with 11:22 on the clock, and the Terps would go on to miss their first 15 three-pointers of the night, in total.
But that's when the Terps mounted their charge, going on their massive, 14-point run in less than two minutes of clock time. That brought Maryland from 41-39 down to 53-41 ahead by the under-eight media timeout, flipping the game's narrative in extraordinarily rapid sequence.
The Terps went from duds to studs in roughly the time you probably walked to the bathroom and back. Around the same time, Hawaii lost the ability to shoot and missed 14 of 15 shots over a remarkable stretch of futility.
The Terps hold on from there to punch their Sweet 16 ticket, buoyed by continually bad Hawaii shooting and solid foul shooting by Trimble.
It was hard until the end, but it was also the most consequential win of Mark Turgeon's five-year run in College Park. Whatever comes next is up to Maryland.