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Terps visit UNC in search of another signature win at the Dean Dome

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Maryland looks to end an eight-game losing streak against a former conference foe when the Terps visit North Carolina on Tuesday as part of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. Maryland is 8-19 all-time at the Dean Smith Center and hasn’t won in Chapel Hill since 2008, but the venue affectionately known as the Dean Dome has been the site of several memorable Maryland victories.

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On Monday, Gary Williams recalled his favorite game in Chapel Hill, Maryland’s comeback from 22 points down in the second half to win 85-75 on Jan. 7, 1997.

“Dick Vitale was doing the game [for ESPN],” Williams told Comcast SportsNet’s Daniel Martin. “With about 35 seconds left, we were up eight and people started to leave the Dean Dome. And Vitale went nuts — I saw the TV tape after the game — about how can you do this to Dean Smith, you’re disrespecting the Carolina program. He’s protecting North Carolina because we had won the game, but that’s always a big thrill to win on the road against a very good team. You respected Carolina, you respected Duke, so anytime you could get them on the road, it made that special.”

The 19th-ranked Terps trailed 13th-ranked North Carolina, 66-44, with 14 minutes left before closing the game on a 41-9 run.

“I’ve been coaching a while in a lot of different places and this is the best comeback I’ve been associated with,” Williams said after the game. “This is one you remember when you’re smoking a cigar on the golf course in May.”

Obinna Ekezie scored 21 points and Keith Booth had 20 for the Terps. Laron Profit missed his first seven shots but finished with 13 points — including 11 in the final five minutes.

“It got scary in the second half for the fans, the players and maybe for the coaches,” said Carolina Coach Dean Smith, whose team was without injured forward Vince Carter. “But Maryland is an excellent team that deserves to be in the top 20, and obviously we don’t.”

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Maryland also has a couple of wins over No. 1-ranked North Carolina teams at the Dean Dome, including the Tar Heels’ first loss at the venue on Feb. 20, 1986. Len Bias scored 35 points in the Terps’ 77-72 overtime win.

On Jan. 19, 2008, James Gist had 22 points and 13 rebounds in Maryland’s 82-80 upset of No. 1 North Carolina. The Terps have lost their last five games in Chapel Hill since then.