On Wednesday, February 14, 2001, a very talented Maryland men's basketball team lost at home to Florida State, a school that finished the season 9-21 overall and 4-12 in ACC play. The boos were loud and overwhelming from a Cole Field House crowd that had just watched their team hit rock bottom, losing for the fifth time in the last six games.
Maryland began the 2000-2001 season with lofty expectations as the nation's No. 5 team, but some early struggles saw the Terps drop as low as 20 in the AP Top 25 before ascending back to No. 6 ahead of a showdown with No. 2 Duke at Cole. After appearing like the Terps were going to finally defeat the team that had plagued them for the past several years, the Blue Devils completed the infamous "Gone in 60 seconds" or "Miracle Minute" comeback that most Maryland fans have tried to erase from their memory.
After the Duke loss, Maryland went into a bit of a tailspin, bottoming out with a loss to Florida State a few weeks later. Terrapin fans were angry, upset and frustrated that a team with so much talent and lofty expectations could lose to one of the worst basketball teams in the conference. Sound familiar?
You can see a lot of similarities and parallels between this year's Maryland team and the one from 2001. For those who remember that 2001 season, what happened Thursday night in Minnesota certainly felt similar and reminiscent of that loss 15 years ago. Listening to Mark Turgeon in his post game press conference, you'd almost think he was quoting Gary Williams from 2001:
"We were closer to our game in the second half. We just couldn't make the shots to get over the hump down the stretch," Gary Williams, February 14th, 2001.
"We were a little more efficient offensively in the second half, we were struggling there," Mark Turgeon, February 18, 2016.
Turgeon, like Williams in 2001, seems frustrated and knows his team is struggling to get back on track.
"It was very disappointing and I have to figure out a way to get us going again - we're not ourselves - and getting us ready at the start of the game." Mark Turgeon, following Thursday's loss to Minnesota.
"I'm disappointed in myself. I think in this situation, I have to look at myself as a coach and try to understand why we don't do certain things, why our emotional level is not where it has to be to play in the ACC at this level," Gary Williams, Feb. 14, 2001.
Maryland's 2001 team used the loss to Florida State as a springboard to turn its season around, winning the next six games it played, including a victory over Duke at Cameron Indoor. That team also went on to make the program's first Final Four. Hopefully Mark Turgeon and this year's team can do the same thing, using an ugly loss to refocus and make a deep run in the NCAA Tournament.