The way this one is supposed to go, Maryland misses the last shot to lose by one and goes home with heartbreak once again. Instead, the Terrapins did just the opposite, defeating North Carolina State, on the road no less, 67-66, before a surly Reynolds Coliseum crowd of 11,700.
Len Bias' two free throws with 1:26 left were the final points of the game (he had seven of Maryland's last eight points), and it was the young Wolfpack who missed the final shots -- four in the waning moments. The victory gave Maryland (13-10, 3-6) an important Atlantic Coast Conference victory and might set it on the road to resurgence.
Maryland was led by Bias' 21 points, followed by Derrick Lewis with 15 and Keith Gatlin with 12.
Sophomore center Chris Washburn had a game-high 24 points for N.C. State (17-7, 6-4), which trailed until 6:34 remained. But the Wolfpack could not take more than a one-point lead over the Terrapins.
N.C. State had its chances after Bias' free throws. But Walker Lambiotte missed an 18-footer, and then Nate McMillan missed a jumper on the rebound. Maryland almost went ahead by three, but center Terry Long's layup rimmed out with 11 seconds left, and N.C. State brought the ball upcourt without a time out.
But it missed two more shots. Ernie Myers' jumper with about five seconds left from 20 feet bounced high off the rim. Washburn came down with it in the lane and put up a desperation hook, but it too hit the rim, as the buzzer sounded.
The game was an important starting point for Maryland, which is heading into its final stretch of conference games. With five remaining, three on the road, the Terrapins need to keep winning to keep their hopes alive for an NCAA Tournament invitation. Now clinging to sixth place in the ACC, they need to finish ahead of Clemson and Wake Forest, or perhaps even do better to ensure an NCAA appearance.
Maryland had let N.C. State cut its lead to four at halftime after leading by as much as 13, but the Terrapins opened it up again in the first four minutes of the second half by outscoring the Wolfpack, 9-2. Lewis had six of those points, and Bias' jumper made it 48-37 with a little over 16 minutes to go. N.C. State made just one of seven shots over that span, Myers hitting a jumper.
But the Wolfpack finally regained its touch to put together a fateful run. N.C. State outscored the Terrapins, 14-3, scoring seven straight points aided by two Terrapins turnovers.
It started with 14:43 left on Washburn's layin. Chucky Brown added a rebound layup, and then had a free throw when he was fouled on a missed fast break attempt off a stolen inbounds pass. When Lewis lost the ball out of bounds for Maryland, Washburn hit a jumper to make it 52-46 with 13:27 remaining.
With 11:25 left, a turnaround jumper by Washburn cut it to 54-50. A Lewis free throw made it 55-50, but then Bennie Bolton had a crucial three-point play, making a layup and drawing the foul from Jeff Baxter. He sunk the free throw to cut it to 55-53 with 10:06 left and end the run.
It was Washburn who finally tied it, 57-57, with a hook from the lane. It came with 7:41 left, and they traded baskets from there until 6:34 was left. It was Washburn again who gave the Wolfpack its first lead of the game. He went to the line with two free throws, but made just one. Still, it was 60-59 in favor of N.C. State.
When freshman guard John Johnson lost the ball out of bounds, N.C. State made it a three-point game with Lambiotte's jumper from the corner. But Bias sunk two free throws, and Tony Massenburg made one of two from the line to tie it at 62 with 4:36 left. Missouri 101, Oklahoma 88
Jeff Strong and Derrick Chievous scored 29 points each as the Tigers upset the eighth-ranked Sooners in a Big Eight game in Columbia, Mo., in which 61 personal fouls were called.
Seven players fouled out of the game. The three officials called 23 personal fouls in the first half and technical fouls on both head coaches.
Missouri (18-11 overall, 5-5 in the Big Eight), which ended a four-game losing streak, took an 18-1 lead as the Sooners went the first 5:10 without a field goal.
The loss dropped Oklahoma (22-3) to 7-3 in the Big Eight, putting third-ranked Kansas (8-1) in commanding position for the regular-season title. Anthony Bowie led the Sooners with 31 points. Michigan 92, Minnesota 56
In Ann Arbor, Mich., Michigan took sole possession of first in the Big Ten, half a game ahead of idle Indiana. The 10th-ranked Wolverines (21-3, 9-3), led by Roy Tarpley, Richard Rellford and Garde Thompson, shot 66 percent from the field in the first half.
The Golden Gophers (15-9, 5-6), playing without five suspended players, also were without acting Coach Jimmy Williams, who was attending his mother's funneral. Assistant Phil Saunders ran the Minnesota bench. Bradley 54, Indiana State 52
In Terre Haute, Ind., Jim Les scored 16 points to lead the 13th-ranked Braves (25-2, 12-0) to a difficult victory over the Sycamores in a Missouri Valley Conference game.
Indiana State (10-11, 4-7) got 22 points from John Sherman Williams. Louisville 75, Cincinnati 58
Billy Thompson hit all eight of his field goal attempts in the first half and finished with 23 points to help the 19th-ranked Cardinals win in Cincinnati and break a three-game losing streak.
Louisville (17-7), which lost to the Bearcats, 84-82, earlier in the season and twice last season, raised its Metro Conference record to 6-2. Cincinnati is 3-5 in the Metro and 9-12 overall. Kentucky 73, Alabama 71
Roger Harden hit a 22-footer with five seconds left for the victory in Tuscaloosa, Ala., that put 11th-ranked Kentucky (21-3 overall) two games ahead in the Southeastern Conference race at 12-1.
The loss dropped No. 18 Alabama to 11-2 and 17-5 overall.
With Alabama holding Kenny Walker well below his 19-point average, Kentucky's James Blackmon scored 22 points to lead Kentucky. Buck Johnson had 22 for Alabama. Old Dominion 61, VCU 56
In Richmond, Ronnie Wade hit two free throws with 20 seconds left for Old Dominion's Sun Belt Conference win marked by the officials' use of television replay to determine the culprits in a fight.
At 10:43 of the second half, ODU's Keith Thomas and Virginia Commonwealth's Bruce Pettway were ejected for fighting. A scuffle broke out in which Pettway threw a punch at an Old Dominion player. During the melee, another punch was thrown but the referees could not determine by whom.
Referee John Clougherty went to the sidelines and watched the replay -- the game was nationally televised by cable network ESPN -- and determined Thomas had thrown the second punch. Both players then were ejected.