Maryland’s second-half rally fell short against LSU, losing 69-67 in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Tremont Waters’ game-winning layup with under two seconds remaining.
Eric Ayala got off a final shot from midcourt for the Terps, but it didn’t reach the rim.
Maryland struggled in the first half, shooting just 26 percent from the floor and missed 13 of their 18 3-point attempts en route to a 9-point halftime deficit.
After halftime, the Terps fell behind by as many as 15 points before staging a comeback. Jaylen Smith had a team-high 15 points and eight rebounds, including the game-tying 3-pointer before Waters’ layup.
Bruno Fernando added 10 points and 15 rebounds for the Terps, who finish the season with a 23-11 record and fell just short of their first trip to the Sweet 16 since 2016.
Suspended LSU coach Will Wade could only celebrate from afar. His team is headed to the Sweet 16 for the first time since 2006.
Wade was banished indefinitely after details emerged about him talking to a recruiting middleman about a “strong ass offer” he made to a high schooler. If true, Wade clearly violated NCAA rules.
Maryland fans had some fun with the allegations.
One fan unhappy with the refs yelled “How much did Will Wade pay you?” Others chanted “Where’s your coach?” during timeouts.
Maryland entered the postseason with the fourth-youngest team in the country, according to KenPom. Kentucky is the only team in the NCAA field with a younger roster. So the Terrapins could be in position for another run in 2020.
LSU improve to 13-5 in games decided by six points of less, and Waters has been a big reason for the late-game success.
Maryland waits to see what 6-foot-10 forward Bruno Fernando does regarding the NBA. The sophomore entered the draft after his freshman season, but returned to school and averaged 13.7 points and 10.5 rebounds.
LSU will play the Minnesota-Michigan State winner in Washington D.C. on Friday.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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