College Hoops Player of the Day for Friday, March 15, 2013
On a night of heavy conference tournament action, the upset of the night was produced by the Maryland Terrapins, who whipped the 2nd-ranked Duke Blue Devils for the second time this season, 83-74, advancing to the semi-finals to face North Carolina Saturday afternoon.
The Terps led the entire game, though Duke cut the lead to one point midway through the second half, but Dez Wells, who pumped in a career high 30 points for Maryland, would not allow his team to fail in what some considered a must-win for the Terrapins' tournament hopes.
Wells was 9-for-13 from the field, including 2-for-2 from outside the arc and made all 10 of his chances at the foul line. He added six boards, three assists and a steal in 32 minutes.
Maryland topped the Blue Devils back on February 8th, 83-81, at the Verizon Center in Washington DC, and proved it was no fluke as they dominated Duke and sent them packing in a one-and-done tournament appearance, out-rebounding Duke, 36-26, and had 18 assists to the Blue Devils' 10.
The Terps were just 8-10 in ACC play, but 22-11 overall, stringing together 11 straight wins prior to conference action. Their match-up with the Tar Heels may be a troublesome one, as North Carolina topped the Terrapins twice during the regular season.
Elsewhere, Georgetown and Syracuse met for the third time this season, and this time the Orange avenged their previous two losses to the Hoyas with a 58-55 OT win, advancing to the Big East final against Louisville, a 69-57 victor over Notre Dame.
The Cardinals and Orange tip at 8:35 pm EDT at Madison Square Garden.
The Big 12 will also crown a champion Saturday night, when #7 Kansas meets #11 Kansas State for the tourney title.
Also on Saturday, UCLA faces Oregon for the PAC-12 championship.
It will be a busy weekend for crowning, as the Mountain West, Conference USA, America East, Southland, Big West, Great West, Big Sky, SWAC, MEAC, WAC and MAC all play tournament finals on Saturday. The ACC, SEC, Big Ten, and Atlantic-10 each have championship games on Sunday.