No. 2 Maryland held on to beat No. 15 Belmont 79–77 on Thursday in the first round of the NCAA tournament in Jacksonville, Fla.
Belmont controlled the game going into halftime with a 40–34 lead. But Maryland finally started to come back and began to pull away at the two-minute mark. The Terrapins started to seal the deal with a monster dunk from Jalen Smith. The ball was up for grabs when Maryland recovered the ball, and Smith got the dunk and a foul to put his team ahead 77–73 with just over a 1:30 minutes left to play. Smith led the Terrapins with 19 points and 12 rebounds.
Anthony Cowan Jr. made a free throw to put Marlyand ahead 78–74, but then Belmont roared back with a three from Nick Muszynski to make it 78–77. In the closing seconds, Belmont threw the ball down court in an attempt to score but Darryl Morsell stole the ball. Belmont's Grayson Murphy fouled Morsell who made his first shot to make it 79–77.
Morsell missed his second shot, but Belmont did not score again and lost.
Maryland will play No. 3 LSU on Saturday. LSU moved past No. 14 Yale earlier Thursday.