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Maryland upset by Oregon, 77-63

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Maryland upset by Oregon, 77-63

BRIDGEPORT, Conn. -- Sabrina Ionescu led five Oregon players in double figures with 21 points and the tenth-seeded Ducks continued their improbable run through the NCAA Tournament with a 77-63 upset win over third-seeded Maryland.

Fellow freshman Ruthy Hebard added 16 points for the Ducks (23-13), who beat second-seeded Duke in the second round and advance to the first regional final in program history.

Brionna Jones and Shatori Walker-Kimbrough each had 16 points for Maryland, which finishes the season at 32-3.

The Maryland offense, which averages more than 90 points a game to lead the nation, was held to its lowest point total this season

Oregon coach Kelly Graves said before the game that his young team that starts three freshmen may not know it is not supposed to be winning. The Ducks became the second No. 10 seed to advance to a regional final, joining the 1991 Lamar team.

Oregon led by nine points at halftime and made seven straight shots late in the third quarter to extend that to 59-45.

A steal and basket by Walker-Kimbrough cut the lead to 69-63 with just over minutes left, capping an 8-0 Maryland run. But Ionescu answered with a basket and the Terps were called for an offense foul on the other end, ending the threat.

The Terps, who average more than six 3-pointers a game, were 0-for-6 from behind the arc.

Maryland missed its first five shots and the game's first basket didn't come for more than three minutes, a short jumper by Oregon's Hebard.

Ionescu had 11 points, three rebounds and three assists in the first 20 minutes. She finished with seven assists and six rebounds. The Terps were able to stay close in the first half thanks to Brionna Jones, who had 10 points and seven rebounds before the break.

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Sean Payton looks back on his short stint as an assistant coach at the University of Maryland

Sean Payton looks back on his short stint as an assistant coach at the University of Maryland

Before he was a Super Bowl coach, before he was even an NFL coach, Saints coach Sean Payton was a Maryland Terrapin coach.

For a few months in the offseason at least. 

Maryland coach Mike Locksley hosted Payton on "Late Night With Locks" and remembered that when starting in College Park for the first time, he was told his job depended on what Payton picked - running backs or receivers. Payton, then-Terps head coach Ron Vanderlinden knew at the time, was an up-and-coming star in the coaching ranks who had coached Marshall Faulk at San Diego State and had spent the year before as the quarterbacks coach at Illinois. (Click here to see the press release from when he was hired). 

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"When I got hired at Maryland in '97," Locksley remembered, "I was told it would be either running backs or receivers. It all depends what Sean Payton wants to do. Sean Payton was a coach here from December through Signing Day of '97 and then went out to the Combine and got offered a quality control job with the Eagles and as your moving truck was coming to College Park to drop off a bunch of other stuff ... the moving truck just kept going."

Payton remembered the tumultuous time for the Terps as well. He came to College Park with former Illinois coach Lou Tepper, who was hired as the assistant head coach and defensive coordinator. "Coach Vanderlinden's trying to put his staff together, it's December, we're recruiting," he said. "And you've got to pick up your stuff on the fly, ready ready. And so you're hustling and one month Coach Tep decides he wanted to wait. And look, that was a big loss for (Vanderlinden) because Tep was like a father to him ... but Lou felt more comfortable going back. So that was change number one."

Three weeks later, another assistant, Terry Malone left for another job to be closer to his father, who was sick at the time.

"So (Vanderlinden) was good and came into the staff meeting and said 'anybody else who wants to get out of here now?'" Payton remembered. "And we're all looking around saying 'this isn't going to affect us.' And three days later I'm like man I'm that person. I was third person out of the bank. You don't want to be the third person out of the bank."

Payton left the Terps for a quality control job with the Eagles, not even coaching a game for the Terps. But he did leave a bit of a legacy, according to Locksley.

In his short time with the Terps, Locksley said, Payton played a role in getting Maryland great Lamont Jordan to play at College Park. 

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Maryland football hoping for good news with Flowers DT Tommy Akingbesote's announcement

Maryland football hoping for good news with Flowers DT Tommy Akingbesote's announcement

Maryland's future defense is in the running for a huge boost on Wednesday.

Flowers High School defensive tackle Tommy Akingbesote posted on Twitter on Tuesday that he will be announcing his commitment at 6 P.M. on Wednesday. According to 247sports.com, the race is between the Terps and Virginia Tech - though a myriad of other schools are also listed as possibilities.

Terps coach Mike Locksley has already had two 4-star defensive linemen commit: Demeioun Robinson from Quince Orchard is ranked third in the state and 58th in the country overall. And another Flowers player, Marcus Bradley, who is ranked 9th in the state and No. 186 in the country is heading to College Park.

 Akingbesote is ranked 16th in the state according to 247Sports.com's rankings.

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