This always had the makings of a fantastic basketball game, and it was, one of those back-and-forth classics you're likely to see on paid subscription sports channels for years to come. Click here for Dana O'Neil's wonderful on-site recap. Only two more things to add:
1. The Greivis Vasquez quote in O'Neil's piece -- "I just said, 'Please, God, let that go in,"' Vasquez said, "and I gave a little shimmy" -- might be the best of his career, and that's saying something. (No pun intended.)
2. Maryland might officially be respected. O'Neil calls the Terps the Rodney Dangerfield of college basketball, and for good reason: Gary Williams' team has been doing this since January. Vasquez and company are one of the best offensive teams in the country, and though they're not a perfect team -- you saw how bad they can be on the defensive boards Wednesday night -- their strengths have long outweighed their weaknesses. Now everybody else is seeing it, too. Good for Maryland.
The win, of course, put Maryland in a tie for first in the ACC. If the Terps handle business at Virginia on Saturday, they can guarantee themselves a share of the ACC title, a title that most thought Duke would run away with far before the first week of March. Behold the power of the shimmy!
Another question -- and yes, I'm just as sick of all the No. 1 seed and bubble talk as you are, but it's pretty much par for the course until the tournament is seeded in 10 days -- is how this will affect Duke's bid at a No. 1 seed. Fortunately, Joe Lunardi already has our answer: He moved Kansas State onto the No. 1 line last night, sliding Duke off. I'm not sure Duke's task wasn't almost as difficult as K-State's last night, but the Devils' loss, and the loss of Robbie Hummel for the season, managed to push K-State up a notch in Lunardi's s-curve. So there you have it.