Originally posted on Fox Sports Carolinas
By Lauren Brownlow  |  Last updated 5/25/14
GREENSBORO, N.C. -- It was starting to look like Maryland might finish its final competition in ACC play in any sport as a champion. And then the wheels fell off for the Terrapins, allowing Georgia Tech to take advantage and come away with a 9-4 win to earn the crown of ACC Tournament champions. Maryland tok a 4-3 lead in the bottom of the sixth inning, but the Terps would not score again as Georgia Tech used a combination of three different relievers to hold down the fort -- none of which were ACC Tournament MVP Dusty Isaacs, who went 1-0 with two saves in three appearances and struck out 11. But it was Maryland's own bullpen that let it down, uncharacteristically. After getting the 4-3 lead, the Terps' Kevin Mooney had an error and a wild pitch that contributed to a big three-run inning for the Jackets to give them a 7-4 lead. They would add two more in the ninth and the Terps couldn't get their bats to heat up again. Neither Maryland nor Georgia Tech was a team that anyone would have picked coming into this year's ACC Tournament. Maryland was in a pool with two of the best three teams in the league, and Georgia Tech had to win the play-in game just to get into its pool, which included one of the hottest teams in the country (Miami). But Georgia Tech went 4-1 over the course of six days in Greensboro to come out victorious, and to take itself from on the NCAA Tournament bubble at 36-25 to solidly in, with the ACC's automatic bid. Georgia Tech has a history of doing well in this event, even if it's not considered the best team in the field. The Yellow Jackets have won nine championships, tied for the most with Clemson, and they have won two of the last three. Their last title came in 2012 when they were 12-18 in league play and just barely snuck in. Georgia Tech head coach Danny Hall knew that his team's success in the ACC Tournament would likely determine whether they made the NCAA Tournament. "Oh, we talked about it," Hall said laughing. "I felt like we had a good RPI, a good strength of schedule. ... The only time I mentioned it (during the Tournament) was prior to playing Clemson, at batting practice, and I felt like the guys felt they were in the Tournament and I told them we were not in the Tournament. I told them if they beat Clemson, we could wind up in the championship game and that happened, thanks to Miami. "I said, 'If you beat Clemson, you're going to put yourselves in the NCAA Tournament, so we were able to do that. Today we're in because we won the Championship. That's the way to do it -- take all the doubt out of it and win the Tournament, and you're in." This was Maryland's first ACC Tournament appearance, period, since 2005 and its first appearance in the championship game since 1976. But the Terps weren't just happy to be there, even as they finish the season 36-21 with a top-25 RPI. "You never want to get in a championship game and lose. This is the first time as a head coach I've lost a championship. Well, first time since 1998, and God knows my kids weren't even born then," Maryland head coach John Szefc said. "You don't want to get here and lose the game, but unfortunately somebody's got to lose. Hopefully we will get something out of this, and I think we have a chance to do well in the NCAA Regional coming out of this tournament." And that was the bright side, he said, of coming out on the losing end -- the Terps now get to sit around a table somewhere back in College Park on Monday and watch the NCAA Tournament Selection Show, knowing that they'll be a part of it. "As tough as this one is, tomorrow we will be sitting in a restaurant in College Park, hopefully getting a good feel as to where we might be playing next weekend in the NCAA Tournament," Szefc said. "That's been kind of a goal for us for a long time, since I got here -- certainly since a lot of these other guys have been here well before I got here." It felt, in some ways, like the end of an era. The ACC Baseball Tournament will return to Durham Bulls Athletic Park starting next season through 2018, and Greensboro -- the birthplace of the ACC, and frequent host of some of its biggest events -- might just be left by the wayside as expansion necessitates that the league service more of its members. But both head coaches took time -- unprompted -- to compliment their hosts in Greensboro, a city that loves holding these events and does almost anything it can to host them and be accommodating. The Tournament was run very, very well by the ACC. People were very professional and it was a great week for our guys, and our program in general, families. Outside of not winning this thing, I have no regrets whatsoever about coming down here. Our program grew by leaps and bounds this week." -Szefc Maryland won't be in the league anymore, either, as it will move on to the Big 10 next year. The Terps were a founding member of the conference, and there as no great dramatic moment that punctuated their final competition as members of the ACC. "We will miss the competition. There are good teams in this league, really good coaches that I consider friends of mine that I really respect," Szefc said. "Not saying we won't get that in the Big 10 because I think we will, but there are special programs in this league, special coaches and the programs and teams, and I think we will miss that. "I think any baseball coach would tell you that and if he didn't, he's lying."
MORE FROM YARDBARKER:
Cult of Sport: Before there was Ezekiel Elliott, there was Eric Dickerson
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Dorial Green-Beckham fined for wearing non-charity Yeezy cleats

Chargers GM won’t commit to Mike McCoy’s return in 2017

Report: Police close to arresting Matt Barnes for alleged assault

Carmelo: Cryptic Instagram posts were about Phil Jackson

DeMarcus Cousins trade rumors won’t go away

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

NFL folks think Jabrill Peppers ‘more hype than substance'?

Joe Haden: Winless Browns the 'laughingstock of every joke’

Did Del Rio give Reid the stink eye after Thursday’s game?

Lane Kiffin reportedly believed Houston job was his

Harbaugh stands by claim Pats broke rules in 2015 playoff game

Green, Durant laughed at Jazz coach for not surrendering

Why UCLA's Lonzo Ball is the most interesting player in college hoops

The NBA goes courtside to curbside: Drinks and rides for discerning fans

The best (and worst) times athletes hosted 'SNL'

CFB Crash Course, Graduation: Final grades and awards

NHL All-Star Game fans are in search of another John Scott

Box Score 12/9: Carey Price has had enough of your nonsense

MLB Winter Meetings, Day 4: News, notes and rumors

Matt Ryan is now Mr. Pick-Two

Ten most significant developments of the NBA season

Ten bold predictions for NFL Week 14

Sporting life: Gifts for the fan who is always on point

MLB Winter Meetings report, Day 3: News, notes and rumors

All Sports News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Why UCLA's Lonzo Ball is the most interesting player in college hoops

The NBA goes courtside to curbside: Drinks and rides for discerning fans

CFB Crash Course, Graduation: Final grades and awards

The five best (and worst) times athletes hosted 'SNL'

NHL All-Star Game fans are in search of another John Scott

Sporting life: Gifts for the fan who is always on point

Matt Ryan is now Mr. Pick-Two

MLB Winter Meetings, Day 4: News, notes and rumors

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

MLB Winter Meetings report, Day 3: News, notes and rumors

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker