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Tuesday, 2 April, 2002, 07:07 GMT 08:07 UK
Dixon sees off plucky Indiana
Juan Dixon jumps on top of Lonny Baxter after secuing the NCAA title
Juan Dixon (top) celebrates winning the title
Juan Dixon scored 18 points to lead the Maryland Terrapins to a 64-52 victory over the Indiana Hoosiers in the NCAA Tournament final.

It is the first national championship for Maryland (32-4) who were appearing in their 19th NCAA tournament.

The Hoosiers (25-12) lost for the first time in a championship game, having won five times previously.

It was a thrill. There's no doubt about it.
Gary Williams

Fittinglly, the Terrapins, the top seed from the East Region, captured the 2002 NCAA title playing in their 2,002nd college basketball game.

It was also the first national title for coach Gary Williams in 24 years of coaching, the last 13 of them at Maryland.

"It's special," Williams said.

"There have been so many good teams...things have never quite worked out right before. This year they did.

"I'm very happy. It was a thrill. There's no doubt about it."

The Terps, making their ninth NCAA Tournament appearance in a row, lost to Duke in the national semi-final last year.

I think Indiana's basketball future is bright
Mike Davis

The loss ended a dream run for Mike Davis - in his second year as head coach - and the Hoosiers, who were looking to become the first fifth seed (South Region) ever to win the national title. .

"I thought we fought hard...I think Indiana's basketball future is bright," said Davis.

Both teams looked nervous in a sloppy first half, which saw the Hoosiers in poor form shooting from the floor, although they did land five of eight attempts at three-pointers.

The Terrapins were not much better, managing just 44% from the floor with just one three-pointer, to lead 31-25 at the break.

The second half also started slowly, with both teams missing numerous shots and making turnovers, with just one basket in the first three-and-a-half minutes.

But the Hoosiers finally got going and drew level for the first time at 40-40 on a Jeff Newton tip-in eight minutes into the second half.

I feel like I'm dreaming right now
Juan Dixon

A Jared Jeffries jumper halfway through the second half gave Indiana its only lead of the game, 44-42.

But the Terrapins went on an 11-2 run in the next five minutes to open up a 53-46 lead.

Maryland also became the first team in the tournament's history to advance to the national championship game by playing the highest possible seed in every round of the tournament.

Juan Dixon said the victory was the ideal way to end his brilliant four-year career at Maryland.

"It means a lot," Dixon said. "I grew up a lot in college. It's a great feeling.

"I feel like I'm dreaming right now."

See also:

31 Mar 02 |  US Sport
Hoosiers and Terps into final
23 Mar 02 |  US Sport
America's cup final
25 Mar 02 |  US Sport
Hoosiers are long-shot happy
26 Mar 01 |  Other Sports
Final Four line-up complete
22 Mar 02 |  US Sport
Hoosiers dump out Duke
18 Mar 02 |  US Sport
UCLA send Cincinnati packing
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