Reprinted from yesterday's late editions.
North Carolina's basketball team dissected the Maryland squad tonight.
The Tar Heels, regaining the form that made them a preseason favorite to win the national championship, pinned a 9770 Atlantic Coast Conference embarrassment on a Maryland team that panicked and suffered its worst defeat since 1971.
It was a virtuoso performance for Carolina: perfect offense, a swarming, doubleteamming defense that held Maryland's leading scorers, Lawrence Boston and Jo Jo Hunter, to eight points, and rebounding that made it hard to imagine this supposedly is a Carolina weakness.
For Maryland, an erratic season got no better. The Terps defense was an easy mark for the disciplined Tar Heels and the offense produced a seasonhigh 29 turnovers against the Tar Heels' finest defensive effort of a 164 season, 63 in the ACC.
A win - or a close loss in view of Carolina's excellent play - would have given Maryland some positive proof that the ACC tournament title and an NCAA tournament berth were within reasonable reach this season.
Instead, the Tar Heels exposed the young Terps' ballhandling problems against pressure. The loss, leaving Maryland 156 overall, 44 in the ACC, had Maryland coach Lefty Driesell seething and virtually speechless.
"They just beat the devil out of us," he said. "It was one of those nights we should have stayed at home."
Is there much hope? Driesell was asked in a onequestion press conference.
"The way we played tonight, very little," Driesell replied. "But I'm a tough guy and I'm not giving up; the players better not give up. I better not say any more; I might say too much."
Driesell gave James (Turk) Tillman, recently reinstated to the team, a shot as the starting small forward. Nothing could help the Terps tonight.
They took a threegame ACC winning streak into the game predicated on excellent defense (41.7 per cent fieldgoal accuracy) and offensive poise. They had neither. Some folks here at Carmichael Auditorium are still wondering who was supposedly guarding Walter Davis and John Kuester.
Nobody was that close to them. The Tar Heels, the nation's third best fieldgoal shooting team, equaled their seasonlong 54 per cent accuracy for the game and made a phenomenal 71 per cent (10 of 14) while taking an early 2111 lead.
Then it was easy for the Tar Heels to force Maryland out of its offense. When Boston (two points) and Hunter (six) combine for eight points while Brad Davis (20) and Mike Davis (16) combine for 36, you know something's wrong.
North Carolina gambled that Brad Davis would panic, with Tar Heels overplaying the first pass to the wings and other defenders jumping into the junior playmaker's path as he drove. The strategy worked; he committed nine turnovers.
"We just overplayed the wings and tried to deny them the ball, and then Brad Davis would have to penetrate, said Walter Davis, whose complete game included 25 points, 12 rebounds, two assists and three of the Tar Heels' 15 total steals.
"We wanted to go out and double them up, run and jump in front of Brad Davis and get him shook up, get them out of their offense and control the boards," said Mike O'Koren, the freshman forward.
Indeed, the Tar Heels did.
Maryland had numerous opportunities at mounting comebacks, as many as three times when a basket would have made them competitive against a team that as recently as two weeks age blew a 15-point second-half lead - to Wake Forest.