- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 26, 2002

The University of Maryland campus was a little quieter than usual yesterday, but the celebration of the basketball team's victory Sunday and its trip to the Final Four was still spirited.
Most students were nowhere to be found, gone for spring break. Even without their presence, though, the College Park campus was awash in school spirit.
The University Bookstore was supposed to be closed yesterday and today, but Sunday's victory meant there would be Terrapin fans hungry for merchandise.
One woman showed up at the bookstore at 8 a.m., hoping to buy a Final Four T-shirt. When told the shirts would arrive that afternoon, she decided to wait until they got there, Shannon Smith, a store employee, said.
Miss Smith, 21, was one of several students working at the store yesterday. She said the team's success more than made up for having to work during spring break.
"I'm happy to be here," she said. "I'm a big Maryland fan."
Erin DeMagnus, a fellow employee and student, expected to have yesterday off, until she got home from vacation Sunday and found a message from work.
She did not mind the inconvenience one bit. "I'm here supporting them," said Miss DeMagnus, 18.
Plenty of nonstudents also hit the bookstore in search of Maryland sweatshirts, hats and jerseys anything to trumpet their support for the Terps, who take on the Kansas Jayhawks Saturday.
Stan Lohman, who manages the bookstore, said he was "tickled to death" at the number of people who came in to buy.
"Look at this," he said, waving his arm at the customers browsing through Terrapin paraphernalia. "They got to want to find us to be here."
Even without students on campus, Mr. Lohman said, a sense of school spirit was noticeable.
"You can tell from the people in here, the momentum has been just this side of awesome," he said.
Miss Smith agreed. "It makes you proud that you go here," she said.
Jim and Darlene Sabelhaus, both Maryland alumni, felt the school spirit.
They brought their two sons, Kyle, 11, and Ryan, 9, out to the Maryland campus to see Cole Field House and buy them Maryland jerseys.
"We've been meaning to come out for a while," Mr. Sabelhaus said, "but because of the win, we've got to start wearing some more Maryland stuff."
For Mr. Sabelhaus, who correctly predicted this year's Final Four including Indiana, which upset top-ranked Duke Maryland's 90-82 win over the Connecticut Huskies was a nail-biter.
"I was worried about that game," he said. "Kansas will be our toughest game, but when our guys are on, we can beat anybody."
While Sunday's game was, at times, a little more exciting than some would have liked, many Terps fans said they were confident of Maryland's chances to win its first national championship.
"It was nerve-racking, because they weren't playing their best," said student Mike Ulrich, 19. "They always used to lose in the Sweet Sixteen. … All those losses were in the back of my mind."
Mr. Ulrich stood in the lobby of Cole Field House, having just bought a ticket to the game being held in Atlanta, trying to convince his friend Greg Smith to do the same.
Mr. Smith, 22, was not sold on the idea. He was worried about missing class on Monday, when all classes resume after the break.
Also, Mr. Smith said, he thought it would be fun to watch the game on campus.
"I think it'd be cool. There'll be a lot of people on Route 1," he said, referring to the university's major College Park roadway.
History major Jessica Santone, 20, stayed in her off-campus apartment this week to work on her senior thesis. She and her roommates made time to watch the game, but cut the victory celebration short.
"A half-hour after the game, we were all in our rooms doing homework," she said.
If the team wins Saturday in its second appearance in the Final Four and goes on to play for the national championship Monday, the campus will look quite different than it did yesterday.
"There will be a lot of celebrating on campus," Miss Santone said. "The whole state will go crazy."


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