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NCAA SOUTH Champion Maryland ousted



Published: Tue, April 1, 2003 @ 12:00 a.m.



Michigan State defeated last year's winners, 60-58, and will play Texas.

SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- Once again, Maryland got a last-second chance to hang onto its national title. But when Steve Blake missed at the buzzer, the Terrapins' reign was over.

Freshman Paul Davis hit a leaning bank shot with 4.7 seconds left and Michigan State defeated the defending champions 60-58 Friday night to advance to the South Regional final.

The senior-led Terrapins overcame a 13-point deficit with 8:07 left, taking a lead in the final minute.

Davis' powerful dunk tied with 50.6 seconds left, and he put the Spartans ahead when he muscled along the baseline for the go-ahead basket.

Blake then took the inbounds pass and dribbled up the floor to the top of the key. He got a good look at the basket, but the ball hit the back iron and bounced away.

After beating North Carolina-Wilmington on a last-second shot in the first round, the Terps seemed convinced this one would fall, too. When it didn't, they stood slump-shouldered and stunned as the Spartans wildly celebrated their eighth win in nine games.

Davis had a team-high 13 points to put Michigan State (22-12) a win away from its third Final Four in four years, an incredible feat for a team that was 14-11 on Feb. 23.

Next

The seventh-seeded Spartans, the lowest seed left in the tournament, will play Sunday against top-seeded Texas. The Longhorns advanced by beating Connecticut 82-78.

The Terrapins (20-10) were the only team that made the Final Four the last two years -- and the only one to even make the regional finals both times.

Michigan State was in control nearly the entire game, leading by 10 in the opening minutes and holding Maryland to 24 points in the first half, matching its lowest 20 minutes of the season.

Even when the Terps tied it at 32 early in the second half, the Spartans responded with a 15-2 run. Maryland seemed to be out of answers, especially when Blake stole the ball at the top of the key and coasted in for an uncontested basket and instead jammed it into the outside of the rim.

Michigan State's lead was 52-39 with 8:07 left when the Terps made their move again.

Using a full-court press against a Spartans squad lacking a true point guard, Maryland scored 16 of the game's next 18 points to go ahead 55-54 on Blake's layup.

The lead was 58-56 when Tahj Holden made one of two free throws with 1:30 left.

Holden was caught flat-footed on the other end of the Spartans' next possession, when the 6-foot-11, 240-pound Davis went flying at the rim for a two-handed jam that knotted the game at 56.

Maryland's Jamar Smith missed from inside the lane and Michigan State called a timeout with 16.5 seconds left. The play ended up going to Davis on the baseline. He went to his left toward the basket, leaned around his defender and popped his shot off the backboard and into the basket for the lead with 4.7 seconds left.

The Terps called time, then the Spartans called another before the game's final play started.




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