Georgia Tech led by 19 in the first half and 16 at halftime. Yet it had to hang on for dear life to hold off the Terrapins. Maryland never took the lead in the second half or got the game tied, but it sure came close. The game was basically nip-and-tuck for the final 12 minutes.
We almost had a replay of the thrilling finish between these two in College Park last month. In that one, Cliff Tucker made a game-winning three at the buzzer for a Maryland victory. This time, Greivis Vasquez went up for a tying three in the final 10 seconds, but had the ball poked away by Iman Shumpert. Vasquez then committed an intentional foul keeping Shumpert from taking the loose ball in for a layup, and the game was won.
We now have a No. 12 seed (Miami) and No. 7 seed (the Yellow Jackets) in the semifinals. If 11th-seeded North Carolina State wins the nightcap, this tournament will have officially barged into the silly zone.
The Jackets had plenty of doubts on the way to winning this game after nearly blowing the big lead, but have erased all doubts about being in the Big Dance.
Tech made 8 of 12 3s ... but only 13 of 27 free throws.