Maryland Terrapins go down with a fight against Michigan State

After an opening victory over Houston, the fourth-seeded Terrapins' season ended on a buzzer-beater against Michigan State in the second round.
By Mike Wise
Monday, March 22, 2010


A stake through the heart was the only way it could end -- the only way, really, it should end.

As hard as that might be to swallow in a beyond-crushed College Park, nothing else could have extinguished the aortic-pounding sensation of the Greivis Vasquez era.

Anyone who followed the tumult and the tingling couldn't have been surprised it came down to Greivis's last-second runner against another kid's deep prayer at the buzzer. For the season.

Straight up.

Nothing else could have taken out the most theatrical player in the nation, his heart-first, head-second coach and this drama-king program. Nothing but a team that had the ball last, a stumpy guard who rose and fired for his season, and the gasps of yet another arena in disbelief that Gary Williams's basketball team was even in this game at the end.

Nothing except more drama and Korie Lucious, who hit nothing but net -- the shot that gave this Terrapins era a kick-to-the-stomach finality.

Michigan State 85, A Very Memorable Time in Maryland Hoops History 83.

The lead actor was outdone by a deep jump shot at the horn. There are no more sequels. The player who both tormented and tantalized an entire fan base has to move forward in life.

What, the Terps were supposed to advance to the Sweet 16 because they miraculously erased a nine-point deficit in the final 1 minute 53 seconds, in about the most frenetic finish the NCAA tournament has seen since Mario Chalmers hit that three-pointer to shock Memphis in the 2008 championship game?

Were they supposed to move on because Vasquez scored 10 of his 26 points during those surreal last moments, including a bodies-all-over-him runner right of the key in the final seven seconds, giving Maryland its second lead since 7-6? Because of that, it's somehow Maryland's right to move on?

CONTINUED     1              >

© 2010 The Washington Post Company