The two teams that will battle for the U.S. men's national collegiate basketball title are set. Indiana and Maryland won their semifinal games Saturday night.
The University of Maryland made it to the Final Four for the second straight year, but unlike last season when it blew a 22-point lead in the semifinals and lost to eventual champion Duke, Maryland survived a scare to beat Kansas here at the Georgia Dome, 97-88.
Maryland had a 20-point lead over Kansas with six minutes to play but saw that dwindle to four with 20 seconds left before coming through with the victory.
Maryland coach Gary Williams said "the thing we have as a team this year is courage. This team has never gone away (given up) in any tough situation. I mean, we've gotten beat, but teams have really had to make a great effort to get us. And, you know, to win on a night when maybe a couple of our guys didn't have their "A" (best) game with them is a great feeling, because Kansas is a great team."
Senior guard Juan Dixon scored 33 points to lead Maryland, which moves on to the title game for the first time in school history. The surprising opponent will be Indiana, a team not even ranked in the top 25 coming into this 65-team single elimination tournament.
Thanks much to perfect six-for-six shooting from three-point range in the second half, Indiana upset Oklahoma in the other semifinal, 73-64. Indiana last won the men's national basketball title in 1987.