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Mvp

April 02, 2002

MVP Juan Dixon, Maryland, Gurard

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FIRST ROUND vs. SIENA

A determined Dixon made 10 of 17 shots and scored 29 points in an 85-70 victory. "I just wanted to come out and be aggressive. This is my last time going through this and I want to tell myself that I went out being aggressive."

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SECOND ROUND vs. WISCONSIN

Dixon again scored 29 points and passed Len Bias as Maryland's all-time leading career scorer in an 87-57 victory. Not bad for a kid who needed a redshirt season just to put on enough weight to survive in the Atlantic Coast Conference. "It's a great accomplishment, especially in my situation,'' said Dixon, who raised his point total to 2,172. "Coming into Maryland, a lot of people knocked [Coach] Gary Williams for recruiting me. I just wanted to go out there and prove those critics wrong."

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REGIONAL SEMIFINALS vs. KENTUCKY

Dixon's point production slipped to 19 but his teammates picked up the slack in a 78-68 victory. "Today I didn't have to score 29, I only needed to score 19 and make some defensive plays."

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REGIONAL FINAL vs. CONNECTICUT

Dixon and fellow senior Lonny Baxter combined for 56 of the Terrapins' points in a 90-82 victory. Dixon made 10 of 18 shots and scored 27 points.

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NATIONAL SEMIFINAL vs. KANSAS

The Terrapins nearly blew a 20-point lead in the 97-88 victory, bringing back memories of the previous last year's Final Four game when they lost a 22-point lead to Duke. After Kansas closed within five points at 89-84 with 1:14 left, Dixon made a baseline jumper and two throws on consecutive possessions to give Maryland some breathing room. "I've been saying the whole week that if we ever got in that position again--when we were up 22 points [and lose the lead]--we were going to find a way to pull the game out," said Dixon, who finished with 33 points.

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NATIONAL FINAL vs. INDIANA

Dixon attempted only nine shots and didn't score for nearly 20 minutes en route to his lowest tournament point total (18). But he made a three-point shot seconds after the Hoosiers had overcome a 12-point deficit and taken their first lead of the game at 44-42 with 9:42 left. Dixon then came back with a fadeaway jumper over Indiana's designated stopper Dane Fife and Maryland slowly pulled away to a 64-52 victory and its first national championship. "It's not the size of the body," said Steve Blake of his 6-foot-2, 165-pound teammate. "It's the will to want to get open, to want to score. He has that."

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Winners

(text of infobox not included)

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