Mike Krzyzewski tried to look convincing when he said No. 2 Duke had to regroup following its worst loss of the season.
But the coach of the Blue Devils knew he had lost more than a game to No. 16 Maryland on Tuesday night.
Center Carlos Boozer went down in the second half with what Krzyzewski said was a broken bone in his right foot, meaning Duke's run at a national championship is in jeopardy.
"We've just got to circle the wagons and get tougher," Krzyzewski said.
The 6-foot-9 Boozer, Duke's main inside threat, hurt his foot early in the second half, tried to return, then left for good with more than 10 minutes left in the 91-80 loss.
The Blue Devils (25-4, 12-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) shot 24 percent in the second half without Boozer, who averages 13.9 points and 6.5 rebounds.
Krzyzewski said Boozer would be X-rayed again Wednesday, but probably will miss Sunday's rematch with No. 4 North Carolina, the ACC tournament in Atlanta next week and maybe beyond.
"He may not be back unless we got deep into the (NCAA) tournament," Krzyzewski said. "It depends on how big the fracture is."
A win by North Carolina over N.C. State on Wednesday night would clinch the No. 1 seed in the ACC tourney for the Tar Heels and snap Duke's run of outright regular-season titles at four.
"We pretty much saw this game as a must-win, and we didn't get it," Duke forward Mike Dunleavy said.
While the Terrapins (19-9, 9-6) gained confidence from the win, the mood in the Duke locker room was one of concern.
Casey Sanders, a 6-11 sophomore who has been a major disappointment so far in his career, will take over most of the inside load with Boozer out.
That's because Matt Christensen, Duke's top frontcourt reserve all season, has been sidelined wth sore knees.
"Matt's thing kind of depends on the day, but he's had a series of bad days. That has been disheartening," Krzyzewski said.
Duke's depth also took a hit early in the season when 6-10 Nick Horvath injured his foot and has missed 21 straight games. His return is still uncertain.
Sanders was in tears after the Maryland loss.
"If my team needs me, than I'll be there for them," said Sanders, who picked up four fouls in four minutes Tuesday night and has averaged just eight minutes in 15 ACC games. "If that takes extra running, extra reps in practice, whatever.
"Every player on this team comes to this school to play. I know it kills certain players on the team not to be able to play. I just didn't want it to happen like this."
Point guard Jason Williams also reinjured his sore calf and was limping by the end of the game.
The Terrapins blew a 10-point lead against Duke in the final minute a month ago at home, but got revenge in Cameron Indoor Stadium.
"We wanted to go out there and be positive and play the way we know how and do all the right things and not worry about what happened last time," Maryland point guard Steve Blake said.
Juan Dixon was the offensive and defensive hero for the Terrapins, scoring 28 points with five steals.
Lonny Baxter added 15 points and 10 rebounds, while Terence Morris had 13 points and 12 rebounds as the Terrapins dominated the boards in winning at Duke for the second straight season. Dixon had 31 here last year.
Shane Battier led Duke with 31 points in his last game in Cameron, getting 19 in the first half, but watched Duke crumble in the second half.
Duke led 60-51 with 15:20 left, but missed 25 of its first 31 shots of the final half, going more than eight minutes without a basket as Maryland took over.
Dixon's floater in the lane with six minutes left gave the Terrapins the lead for good at 70-69, and he followed with a steal and layup on Duke's next trip down the floor.
The Terrapins, who shot 53 percent in the second half, sealed it from the foul line, making 10 of 11 in the final 1:34.
Duke's second half was its worst of the season, going 9-for-37 from the field, including 3-for-19 from 3-point range.
Maryland lost four of five after the Duke loss on Jan. 27, but have rebounded to win four in a row, including over ranked teams Wake Forest, Oklahoma and the Blue Devils.
©2001 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed
© 2001 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.