April 1, 2002
Indiana’s elusive quest for a sixth banner saw its best, and most recent, chance come up short in the Georgia Dome.
Having taken down one ACC powerhouse, the Hoosiers could not take down another in a 64-52 loss to Maryland in the NCAA Championship game in Atlanta.
IU got off to a slow start, and the entire game was an uphill battle for Mike Davis’ crew against Gary Williams’ Terrapins, who led 31-25 at halftime. Juan Dixon led the victors with 18 points, while Lonny Baxter added 15 points and 14 rebounds.
The Hoosiers led just once in the game, a 44-42 advantage with 9:53 remaining in the second half on a Jared Jeffries basket. The standout sophomore from Bloomington North finished with just eight points, one shy of 1,000 for his career, and the lead didn’t last long. Dixon, the Most Outstanding Player, hit a 3-pointer and a mid-range jumper to push Maryland back in front and jumpstart a 22-8 closing run.
Kyle Hornsby had 14 points and Dane Fife 11 for Indiana, which lost a national championship game for the first time in school history, and it was no April Fool’s joke.