Bob Haynie: Terps – Painful Loss Is Fitting ACC End
Florida State defeated the Maryland Terrapins 67-65 on Friday afternoon on a dunk by Boris Bojanovsky in the game’s final second. The Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament loss in Greensboro ended Maryland’s 61-year affiliation with the league.
You could say it was a fitting end.
In those 61 years, the Terps advanced to the finals of the ACC Tournament nine times and won it three times. That’s a relatively low percentage, if you ask me.
Four times, Maryland would lose the ACC title game by three points or less. The 1974 championship game loss to N.C. State was probably the most brutal of them all. In those days, only one team could represent a conference in the NCAA Tournament. That Terps team, ranked fourth and coached by Lefty Driesell, lost 103-100 in OT and watched from the sidelines as State would go on to win the National Championship.
Lefty’s 1976 club, led by All-American John Lucas, was upset by Virginia in the semi-finals at the Capital Centre and was also absent from the NCAA’s. The Albert King-Buck Williams Maryland teams suffered back-to-back heartbreaking one-point championship game losses in 1980 and 1981.
Gary Williams’ National Championship team of 2002 didn’t even make it to the finals of the ACC Tournament as they were upset by State in the semi’s.
The ACC Tournament did bring us the memories of Len Bias in 1984 and John Gilchrist in 2004. But overall, it was usually a frustrating endeavor for Maryland fans.
That era is now over.
It’s off the Big Ten and, hopefully, better luck in their postseason tournament.