- The Washington Times
Monday, December 9, 2019

The Maryland Terrapins are 10-0 for the first time since 1998-99. But for the first time this season, they lost a step in the Associated Press Top 25 poll.

Big Ten rival Ohio State jumped from sixth to third in the rankings this week, pushing Maryland down one spot to No. 4.

The Terrapins nearly lost their Big Ten opener at home to Illinois on Saturday. They trailed most of the game but came back late in the second half, and big shots from Anthony Cowan helped Maryland steal a 59-58 win. Earlier in the week, the Terrapins beat Notre Dame, 72-51 last Wednesday.

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Meanwhile, Ohio State embarrassed then-No. 7 North Carolina in their Big Ten/ACC Challenge matchup with a 74-49 win in Chapel Hill. The Buckeyes are 9-0.

Louisville and Kansas remained Nos. 1 and 2, and Michigan slid one spot to round out the top five after Juwan Howard’s bunch ran into Louisville for their first loss of the season.

Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said Ohio State has been “terrific” and deserved its ranking, but otherwise, he and his team try not to worry about the rankings.

Still, with three of the nation’s top five teams hailing from the Big Ten, Turgeon said it was great for the Terrapins that the conference was shaping up to have a big year.

“I think the more damage you can do as a league before New Year’s helps get more teams in the (NCAA) tournament,” he said. “We’re hoping Jan. 4 or whatever, our league is No. 1 in all the RPI, BPI, whatever all that stuff is out there. That gives you a better chance of getting more teams in.”

The Terrapins travel to Penn State on Tuesday for another conference game. When they visited last season, the Nittany Lions handed them a surprise February upset, something Maryland looks to avoid this time around.

“There’s a lot of things that we’re not very good at right now. We just gotta keep getting better,” Turgeon said. “The obvious one for everybody is, ‘Oh, they don’t start games well.’ But we finish them well, so thank God we do one half of that right.”

Virginia (8-1) slipped from No. 5 to No. 9. The Cavaliers were surprisingly routed by Purdue, 69-40, last Wednesday, but they rebounded Sunday by beating North Carolina in an ACC game, 56-47.

Two teams from Richmond are in the receiving votes column. Richmond earned three votes and Virginia Commonwealth picked up one.

In the women’s poll, Maryland (8-2) dropped four spots to No. 13 after picking up its second loss of the season, 66-59 on the road against N.C. State.

Stanford remains at No. 1, followed by Connecticut, Oregon, Oregon State and South Carolina in The Associated Press women’s Top 25.

The Cardinal garnered 27 of the 30 first-place votes Monday from the national media panel. UConn jumped up two spots, seven points in front of No. 3 Oregon, after routing longtime rival Notre Dame to stay unbeaten.

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