The good. The bad. And the ugly.
Does anyone else remember that saying? I consider myself objective since I cover the team now, but I have to admit I had one of the shirts with that slogan on it growing up, complete with the old Terrapin logo. Maryland represented “the good,” North Carolina was classified “the bad” and Duke was “the ugly.”
Games between the Terps and Tar Heels were always fun, but the rivalry with the Blue Devils was on another level of intensity. It’s been six years since the two opponents faced each other, with Maryland leaving for the Big Ten in 2014.
I was really looking forward to the possibility of covering a rematch between Maryland and Duke in the 2020 NCAA Tournament, but now we’ll never know if they would have met and what the outcome might have been. So I decided to take a look back at the storied rivalry. It’s no secret that the Blue Devils have the upper edge in the series, by a 114-63 margin dating back to 1926 (Maryland won the first game, 40-20), but the Terps have had their fair share of knockout punches as well.
Here are the best Maryland victories over Duke.
March 11, 1984 — Lefty Driesell gets Maryland’s first ACC tournament title
Despite joining the ACC as a founding member in 1953, Maryland didn’t earn its first championship in the conference’s basketball tournament until 1984. And that victory came against none other than Duke.
The two teams each earned a win at its opponent’s home court during the regular season, with the Terps ending the regular season second in the ACC and Duke coming in fourth place. And after winning close games over North Carolina State and Wake Forest to advance to the tournament championship, Maryland took down Duke by 12 points, 74-62, to make school history.
Forward Herman Veal hit a shot to put the Terps up 46-45 with a little over eight minutes remaining. From there, head coach Lefty Driesell assembled his team into a zone, which allowed Maryland to go on a 12-0 run for the next six minutes and put it away.
The legendary Len Bias scored what was then a career-high 26 points in the win over the Blue Devils and was named the tournament MVP. Center Ben Coleman grabbed nine rebounds, while Keith Gatlin dished out 10 assists.
Feb. 27, 2001 — No. 16 Terps spoil senior night for No. 2 Blue Devils
Blue Devil Shane Battier had nearly the perfect senior season; he won every player of the year award imaginable, led his team to both the ACC regular season title and tournament championship and was named the Most Outstanding Player as Duke went on a run to win 2001 National Championship — just to name a few.
But the Terps made sure to spoil one big moment for the future two-time NBA champion, handing him a loss in his last ever game at Cameron Indoor Stadium. The No. 2 Blue Devils had only dropped one home game prior that season, but No. 16 Maryland handed them a 91-80 defeat on Feb. 27, 2001.
Maryland led by as much as nine points towards the end of the first half, but Duke got hot and gained a 50-43 advantage by halftime. That Blue Devils extended their lead to 60-51 with 15:20 left to play and it looked as if the Terps might lose to their rival for the third consecutive game.
That wouldn’t be the case though. Head coach Gary William’s squad went on a 40-20 run for the remainder of the contest, holding Duke to shoot 24.3 percent from the field and 15.8 percent from beyond the arc for the entirety of the second half en route to the 11-point victory.
“We got a little bit flustered. You can get away with that if the other team isn’t playing well, but Maryland was playing well. They played like a veteran team,” Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski said after the game. “The team that should have won, won. And they won in convincing fashion.”
Juan Dixon stole the show with 28 points on 11-of-20 shooting from the floor and a 2-of-3 mark from deep, along with five steals and five rebounds. Three Terps finished with double-doubles in the victory as well; Steve Blake had 11 points and 11 assists, Lonny Baxter had 15 points and 10 rebounds, and Terence Morris had 13 points and 12 rebounds.
Duke went on to win the 2001 National Championship, thanks to a roster with five NBA players — three of which were top lottery picks in Battier, Jay Williams and Mike Dunleavy.
Feb. 17, 2002 — Maryland breaks a bad streak at Cole Field House
Maryland hadn’t defeated Duke at Cole Field House since Jan. 26, 1997, but finally got back in the win column with this one — in dominant fashion.
The No. 3 Terps led the No. 1 Blue Devils for the entire contest en route to an 87-73 victory, despite losing by 21 points in the pair’s matchup just a month prior.
Chris Wilcox led the way for the Terps with 23 points and 11 rebounds, along with three assists and two steals. Baxter was a force as well with 11 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks. And Steve Blake chipped in 13 assists to tie the program’s all-time assists record, along with eight points, six rebounds and three steals.
The Maryland defense held its opponent to shoot 36 percent from the floor and 21.2 percent from deep, and it also forced the Blue Devils into 18 turnovers.
March 14, 2004 — Terps capture 2004 ACC tournament championship
Heading into the 2004 ACC tournament, No. 5 Duke (No. 1 seed) hadn’t lost a conference postseason game since 1998 to earn five consecutive tournament titles. Maryland had won the tournament just once — back in 1984 — and managed it way to the championship game as the sixth seed.
But the teams’ fortunes turned in an overtime showdown at Greensboro Colosseum. The Terps ended the afternoon cutting down nets and donning championship gear after a 95-87 victory over the Blue Devils. The program hasn’t won a tournament title since.
John Gilchrist, just a sophomore at the time, was named the tournament MVP after recording 26 points, seven rebounds, six assists and two steals in the victory. He averaged 24 points, 6.3 assists and 5.3 rebounds through Maryland’s three games of the tournament.
“It was gut-check time,” Gilchrist said after the victory. “We went through a little adversity, a little turbulence a couple weeks ago and we just had to come together.”
Jamar Smith and Travis Garrison also starred in the victory. Smith was the only Terp to record a double-double with 25 points and 12 rebounds, as well as four assists. Garrison had 19 points, seven rebounds, two blocks and two steals in just 28 minutes played.
The Terps were stellar on the defensive end too, as they held sharpshooter J.J. Redick to 1-for-8 from deep and Duke as a whole to 23.8 percent from beyond the arc.
March 3, 2010 — A Maryland senior night to remember
Only four Terps knew what it felt like to beat Duke heading into this top-25 matchup at Comcast Center. The group of Greivis Vasquez, Eric Hayes, Landon Milbourne and James Padgett were all a part of the Maryland team that defeated the Blue Devils twice in 2006-07. Since then though, the Terps had lost every matchup between the two rivals.
But on their senior night, that losing streak would be reversed as No. 22 Maryland took down No. 4 Duke, 79-72, complete with a court storm.
“This was the game that we had to get, and we thought that all year — our senior year — that we couldn’t be beaten at home,” Hayes told Testudo Times on a recent podcast. “We had the win against Georgia Tech where we were down and out and Cliff [Tucker] hit the buzzer beater — after that, we just felt like we weren’t going to lose at home. ... We knew coming into that game that we weren’t going to lose that game.”
Vasquez led the way for the Terps with 20 points, five assists and five rebounds. Hayes scored 13 points on 6-for-8 shooting from the floor, along with five rebounds. Jordan Williams, a freshman at the time, recorded a double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds, as well as three blocks.
It was the last loss for the Blue Devils that season as they went on to win the 2010 National Championship.
Nine of the 17 players that saw minutes in the rivalry matchup went on to play in the NBA. Duke had a staggering seven NBA players on its roster at the time in Mason Plumlee, Miles Plumlee, Nolan Smith, Kyle Singler, Lance Thomas, Andre Dawkins and Ryan Kelly, while Maryland boasted Vasquez and Jordan Williams.
Feb. 16, 2013 — Turgeon gets first taste of a Blue Devil upset
After the 2010 court storm, Maryland once again fell into a rut against Duke. The Blue Devils had the upper hand in all three games in Williams’ last season at the helm in 2010-11, and newly hired head coach Mark Turgeon had no luck since taking over for the 2011-12 season.
It was expected to be more of the same when the two teams met on Feb. 16, 2013, especially since the Terps had suffered a 20-point loss to the Blue Devils at Cameron Indoor Stadium earlier that season.
But an unranked Maryland squad boasting a mere 5-6 record in the ACC managed to upset No. 2 Duke, 83-81, instead.
“I know what this win means for our fan base, and I really wanted to beat Duke. This means a lot to me,” Turgeon said after the game. “Over the summer I said if we beat Duke I am going to be in the stands with our fans.”
Maryland led by as much as 10 points twice in the second half, including with 3:39 remaining, but let the Blue Devils get back within reach.
Rasheed Sulaimon — who would eventually become a Terp himself — was sent to the free-throw line for three shots with 16 seconds left to play, and he drained all three shots to make it an 81-81 game.
The game looked to be headed to overtime, but Terp Seth Allen was sent to the line with 2.8 seconds left. He sunk both of his two attempts to hand Maryland an 83-81 victory to the pure joy of the Comcast Center crowd.
Alex Len had an impressive showing in the emotional win, scoring 19 points on 6-for-8 shooting from the field, along with nine rebounds and three blocks. Allen contributed 16 points, while Dez Wells was everywhere with nine points, seven assists and seven rebounds. And Jake Layman, then just a freshman, had eight points and five rebounds.
April 4, 2006 — Maryland women take down Duke for 2006 National Championship
While this article focuses on the rivalry between the men’s team, it would be a crime to not mention one of the Terps’ most meaningful victories over the Blue Devils. Maryland women’s basketball secured the 2006 National Championship by taking down none other than Duke, 72-70.
Heading into postseason play, head coach Brenda Frese’s squad had only lost two regular season ACC contests; both were to the Blue Devils. Duke had only lost two total games, and the team would go on to beat every opponent it faced in the postseason but the Terps.
After practically leading Duke the whole way to beat its rival in the ACC tournament semifinals, Maryland found itself trailing to the Blue Devils with time running out in the national title game.
The Terps wouldn’t go down that easy, though. Kristi Tolliver hit a legendary three pointer with six seconds left to send the contest to overtime. They were able to lock down from there, hitting key foul shots when it mattered most, along with stellar defense, to secure a 78-75 victory and the program’s first ever title.
“Overtime is our time,” Marissa Coleman said after the game. “What a better way to win a national championship than in overtime, which was our time all season long?”
Tolliver, Shay Doran and Laura Harper all finished with 16 points. Coleman had a double-double with 10 points and 14 rebounds, while Crystal Langhorne contributed 12 points and seven rebounds.