Five things Maryland will miss from the ACC

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Five things Maryland will miss from the ACC

Increased financial stability ultimately led University of Maryland President Wallace Loh to pursue membership in the Big Ten athletic conference. For Maryland, almost 60 years of ACC tradition was tossed aside for the greener pastures of the Midwest and the revenues delivered by the Big Ten television network.

As Maryland fans grapple with the conference shift, CSN examined some of the aspects of life in the ACC that Maryland fans might miss most.

Tradition -- For multiple generations of Terp fans, a prominent place in the ACC was a source of pride. Maryland was a founding member of the conference in 1953, and for almost 50 years Maryland served as the northern most point in the ACC. While many in the Terp crowd claimed that the conference held a bias for its North Carolina teams, Maryland won multiple championships in basketball and football. Non-revenue sports in the ACC are another strength; Maryland enjoyed much success in ACC men's and women's lacrosse, soccer and field hockey amid some of the best competition in the country.

College basketball experts still speak of the famous N.C State-Maryland 1974 ACC Tournament championship game.

The matchup featured 10 players that would go on to the NBA, and N.C. State's 103-100 overtime win led to big changes for the NCAA. In 1974, only conference champions made the NCAA Tournament. After that Maryland team failed to make the tournament, despite finishing the year ranked the No. 5 team in the country, the NCAA expanded the tournament from 32 to 48 teams.  

Duke Rivalry -- While Maryland enjoyed many great years in men's basketball throughout its time in the ACC, when the Terps were at their best in the early 2000s, Duke often played the role of heel.

No rivalry in the ACC was as intense at that point as the Jason Williams and J.J. Redick Duke squads facing up with the Juan Dixon and Lonny Baxter Maryland teams.

Many would argue that the most heartbreaking loss a Maryland team ever suffered came in the 2001 Final Four, an epic collapse against a Duke team that would go on to win the national championship. But that loss also propelled the Terps to their first and only national title the following year.

 A bitter memory for Maryland fans, Duke also registered an absurd win in Cole Field House in the infamous "Miracle Minute" game. 

In January 2001, Maryland led Duke by 10 points, 90-80, with about a minute to play, only to lose the lead, lose their composure, and eventually lose the game in overtime 98-96.

The game will forever live in College Park folklore, and former Duke star Shane Battier acknowledged that the intensity of those Duke-Maryland games from that era were the most intense he ever faced in college. 

Maryland also won some monumental games over Duke.

One of the best wins came when the Lady Terps delivered a victory over Duke in the 2006 national title game. Duke was a heavy favorite in the game, but coach Brenda Frese and star freshman Kristi Toliver brought home the title in a 78-75 overtime win.

All ACC Rivalries -- For a period of time, no rivalry played like Duke against Maryland. But for the almost 60 years Maryland competed in the ACC, every game was intense. Every rivalry mattered, especially in the pre-expansion days when all teams in the conference played a home-and-home round robin basketball schedule.

Maryland knew it would play NC State, North Carolina and Virginia twice every year. The crowds at Cole Field House were some of the best in the country, and famous Terp coaches like Lefty Driesell and Gary Williams battled ACC legends like Dean Smith, Jim Valvano, Bobby Cremins, and later Mike Krzyzewski and Roy Williams. 

Tobacco Road -- Despite all the cries of "Carolina refs" heard from the Cole Field House crowd, there was a lore and excitement to visiting the famed programs along North Carolina’s “Tobacco Road.”

Duke, N.C. State, North Carolina and to a lesser-degree Wake Forest gave the Terps great competition, while Maryland coaches could use the Tobacco Road trips as a selling point to recruits. Nothing will replace playing in Cameron Indoor Stadium or the Dean Dome.

Geography -- Though for most of the ACC’s existence Maryland served as the northern-most team, many of the Terps' foes were within an easy car ride for fans to attend away games.

From College Park, Md., driving to Charlottesville, Va., would take about two hours, while a trip to Duke, N.C. State or North Carolina would take roughly four hours. Add another hour to get to Wake Forest.

In the Big Ten, the road trips will get much longer. 

Both Penn State and Rutgers are roughly four hours from College Park, but the next closest team plays 400 miles away in Columbus, Ohio. To arrive at Ohio State will require a seven-hour car ride, the next closest school is Michigan, a mere nine-hour trip.

Much will change as Maryland shifts to the Big Ten, but there is plenty to miss from the ACC. 

 

Former Terp Davis honors former Redskins great with jersey number

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Former Terp Davis honors former Redskins great with jersey number

Sean Davis wore No. 21 at Maryland to honor late Redskins great Sean Taylor. But after getting selected by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the second round of the 2016 NFL Draft, he ran into an issue. 

No. 21 already belonged to fellow safety Robert Golden, so Davis improvised. As he showed at rookie minicamp on Friday, he is now wearing No. 28. Why? He shared on Twitter that he wanted to honor another great former Redskins defensive back -- Darrell Green.

Pittsburgh doesn't need Davis to produce like Green right off the bat, but he could end up with a starting spot in the secondary. The Steelers ranked 30th in the NFL in pass defense last season and, paired with fellow draftee Artie Burns out of Miami, the team will likely be looking to them as rookies.

First video of former Terp Sean Davis in Steelers uniform

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First video of former Terp Sean Davis in Steelers uniform

Rookie minicamp for the Pittsburgh Steelers opened on Friday, which meant the first look at second-round pick and former Maryland Terrapin Sean Davis in black and yellow.

As shared by the team's official Twitter account, below is Davis tracking a ball during a drill. And it looks like he'll be wearing No. 28, which is a departure from the No. 21 he wore at Maryland

Pittsburgh made the secondary a priority in the 2016 draft, taking defensive back Artie Burns of Miami in the first round and Davis in the second. And it's not out of the question that one or both could start when the season begins.

That will be determined in time. And there's a lot of it between now and the opener.

Four-star Maryland target chooses Hokies over Terps

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Four-star Maryland target chooses Hokies over Terps

Four-star guard and Maryland target Nickeil Alexander-Walker has committed to Virginia Tech, he announced via Instagram on Thursday evening. 

Walker-Alexander, who is listed at 6-5, 175 pounds, is rated as the No. 91 overall player in the class of 2017, according to Rivals.com. He is a native of Canada who plays for Hamilton Heights Christian (Tenn.) and Under Armour-affiliated Canada Elite AAU.

So far this AAU season, he is averaging 15.1 points and 2.5 assists per game while ranking in the Top 15 on the Under Armour circuit with 15 made threes. He recently visited both Maryland and Virginia Tech.

Maryland does not yet have a verbal commitment in the class of 2017.

Watch his highlights below.