Maryland basketball begins Big Ten Conference Tournament play ranked No. 25 in the new Associated Press men’s college basketball poll.
After six straight weeks in the AP Top 25 poll, the Terps vanished from the top 25 in Week 17 after devastating back-to-back home losses against unranked teams, first against Minnesota, followed by a 14-point loss to Iowa.
Maryland followed up the disastrous week with a hard-fought road victory against Rutgers as the Terps seemed to finally break out of their slump during the second half, outscoring Rutgers 47-31.
Later that week, the Maryland Terrapins defeated the Michigan State Spartans in thrilling fashion as Maryland’s leader Melo Trimble drained a three-point basket that proved to be the game-winner.
Trimble’s game winner gives the Terrapins a huge momentum boost heading into the Big Ten Tournament and NCAA Tournament after things looked concerning for the Terps just a week ago.
Now, after two key wins to close out the season, Maryland is now No. 25 in the newest AP poll as they prep for the this week’s Big Ten Tournament at Verizon Center in the nation’s capital. In addition, the win Saturday gives Maryland a double-bye in the conference tournament, giving the Terps time to regroup and recharge as they prepare for postseason play.
AP Top 25 Poll – Week 18
As mentioned earlier, Maryland emerged back into the AP Poll Monday afternoon as the No. 25 team in the nation.
Last week, the 20-10 Miami Hurricanes owned the No. 25 spot in the AP poll, but with two straight losses Virginia Tech and Florida State to close out the regular season, the Terps were able to slither into the group of 25.
Rounding out the bottom five teams, ahead of Maryland is Big Ten foe the Wisconsin Badgers, who ended a three-game losing streak with a win against arguably the hottest team heading into postseason play, the Minnesota Gophers.
Ahead of Maryland and Wisconsin at No. 23 is the 20-10 Iowa State Cyclones who closed out the season finale with a loss at West Virginia.
Teams 20-22 include No. 20 Witchita State, followed by former ACC rival the Virginia Cavaliers at No. 21, who picked up an impressive victory against North Carolina last week. Lastly, Notre Dame sits at No. 22 despite a road loss t o Louisville over the weekend.