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Matchup History: The Maryland Terrapins vs. The Kansas Jayhawks

When the Terrapins won the NCAA Championship in 2002, they defeated Kansas in the national semifinals. The Jayhawks stand in the way of Maryland's first Elite Eight berth since that run fourteen years ago.

Juan Dixon and Maryland went on to win the 2002 championship after defeating Kansas in the national semifinals.
Juan Dixon and Maryland went on to win the 2002 championship after defeating Kansas in the national semifinals.
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

As you might expect, two schools so geographically separated like Maryland and Kansas do not have a wealth of history facing each other, but they have played a handful of times in various scenarios.

The two teams first met in 1964 in the first game of a home-and-home series that started at College Park. Kansas won that game 63-61 and also won at Lawrence the following year, 71-62. The teams then split two non-conference early season tournament meetings in 1984 and 1997.

By far, the biggest historical matchup between the Terrapins and Jayhawks came in the 2002 Final Four in Atlanta. Maryland won that matchup 97-88 and went on to win the national championship. The two schools have not met since 2002 and Maryland will look to even up the historical series at 3 with a win over Kansas in Louisville.

In the 2002 semifinal, it was the trio of Juan Dixon, Steve Blake, and Chris Wilcox who did the heavy lifting for the Terrapins. Dixon had 33 points on 10-for-18 shooting, Blake had 8 points and 11 assists, and Wilcox nearly missed a double-double at 18 points and 9 rebounds.

Kansas opened the game on a 13-2 run but Maryland fought back quickly and took a 44-37 lead into the halftime break. The Terrapins opened up a 20 point lead with six minutes left in the game but the Jayhawks stormed back and cut it to only a four point deficit with 20 seconds left. Kansas then made the fateful decision to call a timeout when they had none remaining, which effectively ended the comeback attempt. Maryland then went on to defeat 5 seed Indiana 64-52 for the program's first national championship.

Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon has significantly deep roots with Kansas basketball. He is a Topeka native who played guard for the Jayhawks in the mid-1980s. When the Terrapins and Jayhawks met in the Great Alaska Shootout in 1984, Turgeon scored 4 points and dished out 7 assists in Kansas's 58-56 win. Turgeon was also an assistant coach for the Jayhawks from 1987 to 1992, staying on the staff when Roy Williams took over for Larry Brown. When Turgeon was the head coach at Texas A&M, he was unable to get a win over the Jayhawks, falling in all six meetings against his alma mater.

Both schools are in the top 30 for number of games played in the NCAA Tournament and both have all-time winning percentages of over 60% in the event. Although the historical series between the two programs is quite abbreviated, the game will certainly take on extra importance for Turgeon as he looks to deny his former team its 100th overall win in the NCAA Tournament.

The Jayhawks are a 6.5 point favorite which makes Maryland the largest underdog in the regional semifinal round. If Maryland does emerge with the upset victory, it would be a huge burst of momentum for the Terps and they'd immediately become a legitimate contender in the race for the national championship.