Duke's 20th win of 2013-14 was its final one against a longtime respected foe as an intra-conference rival.
The Blue Devils and Maryland Terrapins played their only scheduled game of the season Saturday night, most likely the final one between them as ACCers. Duke won 69-67, the beneficiary of one more crazy play at the end of a game to push them past the Terps.
There's been a lot of wild ones between these two over the ages. This one wasn't the best, wasn't the prettiest, wasn't the heaviest. But it was a fitting conclusion because it was close, passionate, dramatic -- and ended in a Duke victory. The Blue Devils are the ones sticking in the conference, so of course they send Maryland packing with another L.
Meeting 177 of Duke v. Maryland to the Blue Devils, the way 113 of the 176 prior meetings went.
Charles Mitchell's shot attempt in the closing seconds took three bounces off the rim before deciding to fall away from the net instead of through it. The Maryland sophomore had a good look. It looked like it was going to fall.
Missed shots don't get much closer than that.
Parker -- whose final two points were monstrous -- led all scorers with 23 points. Jake Layman had 18 to lead Maryland.
It was a game with a lot of bittersweet sentiment behind it. Mike Krzyzewski didn't want this. He hates how the ACC -- even if it's still in fine shape now -- has been splintered. At one point, Krzyzewski and Maryland coach Mark Turgeon had a heated moment near the scorers' table. They quickly made good, but the image served as a nice reminder of what rivalries and games of this nature can do to proud men.
"That was vintage Cameron, man," Krzyzewski said afterward. "That was one for the ages."
The taunting chants from the Cameron Craziers were of course abundant. From the predictable "ACC! ACC!" toward Maryland, to the throwback, "Sweat, Gary, sweat!" a mocking from Gary Williams' days with the Terps. For a game between two teams on very different planes in college basketball's panorama in the modern, this was as good as it could get.
This was never UNC-Duke, nor did it ever claim to be. It was just another breed of college basketball distaste and friction. At times it was as good as the sport ever could have wanted. It went limp in recent years, making this final revival all the better.
"I'm going to miss this like crazy. What a great place to come play," Turgeon told reporters afterward.
He sure looked like it. Here's the final play, camera on Turgeon. A series that started in the '20s, became familial in the '50s, fiery in the 2000s -- it ends in 2014 with a stomp.