The University of Maryland has won the U.S. men's national collegiate basketball championship, with a 12-point victory over Indiana.
Favored Maryland defeated Indiana, 64-52. It was a low-scoring game that featured tight defense and some sloppy play. Each team committed 16 turnovers.
Maryland led the entire game, with one exception. Indiana grabbed a 44-42 advantage, with about 10 minutes to play. But Maryland's star senior guard, Juan Dixon, answered with a three-point shot and Maryland slowly pulled away to win.
Dixon led all scorers with 18 points and was named Most Outstanding Player of the Final Four. He had a hard time realizing what he and his team accomplished. "It's a great feeling. I feel like I'm dreaming right now because I'm part of a national championship team. A lot of people back at home counted me out and didn't give me a chance [to be a big-time college player], he said. "But I went out and got better each year and led my team to a national championship. So, it's a great feeling, man, and I'm speechless."
Last year, the Maryland Terrapins reached the Final Four for the first time in school history, but lost in the semifinals to eventual-champion Duke. This year, led by three experienced seniors, the Maryland players said they were on a mission. It has been achieved.
En route to this title game, Maryland had to beat three teams with great basketball traditions: Kentucky, Connecticut and Kansas. Now the Terrapins have beaten anothe, Indiana, for their first-ever men's national championship.