There were no tears in the Maryland locker room today, no cries of anguish, no lowered heads. People do not cry when they are in a state of shock.
"It was," said guard Reggie Jackson, "very embarrassing."
For the final 38 minutes today, the team that started this season with so much hope was given a lesson in the game it has played so well on other days. By the time Big Ten champion Indiana was finished, the Terrapins were in a daze, 99-64 losers in the second round of the NCAA tournament, their dream having become a nightmare before 13,458 fans in the University of Dayton arena.
The defeat, the worst for the Terps since a 105-70 loss to North Carolina in 1971, meant they finish this disappointing season with a 21-10 record. Indiana's record is 22-9, and the Hoosiers have advanced to a Mideast regional semifinal Friday on their home court against either Kentucky or Alabama-Birmingham.
"They were great, and we were terrible," said Maryland Coach Lefty Driesell. "I do believe they could have beaten the 76ers today. That's the worst I can remember getting beat and it's the best I've ever had a team play against me."
For two minutes it looked as if the Terps, not Indiana, were going to be better than the 76ers. Maryland blew to an 8-0 lead within two minutes. From that moment on, it was all Indiana. The Hoosiers took the lead, 1413, on Ray Tolbert's 15-foot jump shot with 14:12 left in the half and just kept going. Tolbert finished with 26 points, hitting 10 of 13 shots the floor. Landon Turner, IU's other big man, was almost as good, making nine of 13 and scoring 20 points. In the meantime, Isiah Thomas, the do-everything guard, hit nine of 11 from the floor for 19 points, made 14 assists and had zero turnovers in 35 minutes.
In all, the Hoosiers shot 65 percent from the floor, compared to 44 percent for the Terps. Albert King ended his career by hitting 10 of 28 shots for 22 points. Ernest Graham scored 16 points and Greg Manning just six in their final games. Buck Williams had 16 points and 10 rebounds.
That just wasn't enough, though. Indiana was a steamroller today and the Terps got rolled, the first time in four games this season that the opposition scored more than 80 points and best Maryland.
By halftime it was 50-34. The Terps cut it to 54-42 two minutes into the second half then watched helplessly as the Hoosiers scored the next 15 points to lead, 69-42, with 14:30 remaining.
"That four-minute period after they cut it to 12 was the most important part of the game for us," said Indiana Coach Bobby Knight. "They could have made a move then but, instead, we were able to reassert ourselves and get that run."
Except for the first five minutes, the Hoosiers were in control throughout.
With the Maryland defense sagging, Tolbert and Turner calmly hit one jump shot after another. When the Terps came out to stop the jumpers, Thomas began penetrating and passing off for dunks and layups.
"Was this one of my best games?" Thomas said, repeating a question. "I don't know. You'll have to ask someone who watched."
Ask Jackson, one of many who tried to slow Thomas down. "He was great, unbelievable," Jackson said. "What can you say when a team plays like that? They would have whipped a pro team the way they played today. It's just sad for it to end this way."
That was the overwhelming sentiment among the Maryland players. When they locked around at the emptying room it began to dawn on each of them that it was over, that there would be no more chances to redeem themselves.
"After the regular season, we said we still had the ACC tournament," Williams said. "We lost the tournament by a point, then we said we had this. Now, we still haven't accomplished any of our goals and it's over. That really hurts because there was no doubt in my mind that we were going to win the whole thing.
Most shocking to the Terps was the picture they will undoubtedly carry in their minds of the Hoosiers pushing the ball up the court time and again, saying, in effect, we can play your style and whip you at it.
Driesell, trying desperately to find a good side to the humiliation, quoted poetry, cited the 20 victories, the wins over ranked teams.He was groping.
"If we're bad, then Virginia's bad because we beat them bad," he said. "We feel bad but think how De Paul feels. They probably feel worse."
Perhaps, by accident, King and Manning summed the day and the season up best as they stood side-by-side combing their hair.
"It's been real, big guy," Manning said, a quiet acknowledgement that four years of playing side-by-side were over.
"Yeah, it has been real," King answered softly. "Very, very real."