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March 5, 2004


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The Game
Virginia stands at 16-10 overall and 6-9 in the Atlantic Coast Conference in the 2003-2004 season. The Cavaliers have won three consecutive games (and four of the last five) and are coming off an 84-82 win over 11th-ranked Wake Forest (Mar. 2) at University Hall. Maryland stands at 15-11 overall and 6-9 in the ACC. The Terrapins are coming off a 70-69 victory over 16th-ranked N.C. State (Mar. 3) in Raleigh, N.C.

The Series vs. Maryland
Maryland leads the series with Virginia 96-64 in a rivalry that dates back to the 1912-13 season. The Cavaliers had their two-game winning streak against Maryland snapped with a 71-67 loss (Feb. 4) in Charlottesville.

UVa snapped a three-game losing streak (and a nine-game slide at Maryland) with an 86-78 victory (Feb. 6) at Comcast Center last season. UVa completed the 2002-2003 season series sweep with an 80-78 overtime victory (Mar. 9) in Charlottesville. It marked the Cavaliers’ first season sweep of Maryland since the 1992-93 campaign.

Despite winning four of the last eight meetings, Virginia has lost 14 of the last 21 contests in the series with Maryland since winning five consecutive games between 1992-1994.

In the 2001-2002 season, the Terrapins won 91-87 (Jan. 31) in Charlottesville in the first meeting and 112-92 (Mar. 3) in the final game at Cole Field House. In 2000-2001, UVa split a pair of games with Maryland with each team winning at home. Virginia earned a 99-78 victory (Jan. 31) in the first meeting of 2000-2001 in Charlottesville. Maryland gained a split in the season series with a 102-67 victory (Mar. 3) in College Park.

This is the 57th consecutive season the Cavaliers and Terrapins have met (every season since 1947-48), Virginia’s second-oldest opponent in terms of consecutive seasons met. They have played 122 games in that span. (Virginia’s oldest opponent in terms of consecutive seasons played is Virginia Tech-69 straight seasons).

The Terrapins lead 54-20 in games played in College Park during the series. UVa won only 13 of 47 meetings at Cole Field House. In its first appearance at the Comcast Center, UVa registered an 86-78 victory over then eighth-ranked Maryland (February 6, 2003). The victory snapped the Cavaliers’ nine-game losing streak at Maryland. The Cavaliers’ previous victory in College Park was a 70-68 win on February 4, 1993.

Five of the Cavaliers’ last six wins over the Terrapins (1995, 1997, 2000, 2001 and 2003) have occurred at University Hall in Charlottesville.

Closing the Regular Season with the Terps
This is the fifth consecutive year Virginia is closing out the regular season by playing Maryland. The two teams have split the last four regular season finales.

The Cavaliers won both regular season finales in Charlottesville by two points in overtime (89-87 – Mar. 4, 2000 and 80-78 – Mar. 9, 2003). UVa has not fared as well in the two games contested in College Park. Virginia lost 102-67 on Mar. 3, 2001 and 112-92 on Mar. 3, 2002 in the final game at Cole Field House.

Winning Close GamesBThe Cavaliers are 4-1 in games decided by four points or less this season and improve to 5-1 with overtime contests included.

UVa’s four “close” wins have been in its last four victories:82-80 over 15th-ranked Georgia Tech (Feb. 14) at home58-55 over Clemson (Feb. 21) on the road74-72 over 12th-ranked North Carolina (Feb. 24) at home84-82 over 11th-ranked Wake Forest (Mar. 2) at homeUVa also defeated Florida State 76-67 in overtime (Jan. 18) at home.

Virginia’s lone close loss was a 71-67 setback against Maryland (Feb. 4) in Charlottesville.

Late Game Heroics
Guard Todd Billet lifted the Cavaliers to three consecutive victories with some clutch late-game shooting and forward Devin Smith got into the act in UVa’s victory over Wake Forest (Mar. 2).

Billet drained a three-pointer with 2.4 seconds remaining to lift Virginia to an 82-80 win over Georgia Tech (Feb. 14) at University Hall. The three-pointer marked Billet’s only points of the game.

At Clemson (Feb. 21), Billet sank a three-pointer with 16 seconds left to erase a 55-53 deficit and give UVa a 56-55 edge. He also made a layup with two seconds left to make the final score 58-55. Billet scored 21 points in the game.

Against 12th-ranked North Carolina (Feb. 24), Billet capped a Cavalier comeback with a three-pointer with 13.6 seconds remaining to erase a one-point deficit and propel UVa to a 74-72 victory.

Smith became the latest hero for the Cavaliers as he made a three-point play the old fashion way with 5.8 seconds remaining in UVa’s 84-82 win over 11th-ranked Wake Forest. Smith’s basket and free throw turned an 81-81 tie into an 84-81 UVa lead.

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