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Maryland men’s basketball re-enters AP poll, checking in at No. 21

Maryland is in second place in the Big Ten with two games to go.

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NCAA Basketball: Northwestern at Maryland Brent Skeen-USA TODAY Sports

Following Maryland men’s basketball’s 75-59 win over Northwestern that propelled it into second place in the Big Ten, it has entered Monday’s latest AP poll. With a 20-9 overall record, the Terps are now the No. 21 team in the country.

This is Maryland’s first time being ranked since Dec. 12, which tabbed the Terps as the then-No. 20 team in America. Maryland’s highest national ranking of the season was No. 13, which came on Dec. 5 after an 8-0 start.

The Terps used an unbelievable shooting performance to blow out Northwestern in their most recent showing Sunday. Maryland made a season-high 14 3-pointers against the Wildcats, shooting 63.6% from beyond the arc. On his senior day, graduate guard Jahmir Young scored a game-high 18 points, including 16 in the first half. With four 3-pointers and 13 points, graduate guard Don Carey had arguably his most important game as a Terp in the win. Seniors Hakim Hart (10 points) and Donta Scott (11 points) cracked double digits while sophomore forward Julian Reese had a double-double with 12 points and 10 boards.

The win over Northwestern secured the Terps’ first season undefeated at home in Big Ten games since 2014-15 and just the second 10-0 home conference record by any Big Ten team since the conference extended league play to 20 games before the 2018-19 season.

Maryland’s win punctuated a 2-0 week after it beat Minnesota by 18 last Wednesday. After starting 3-5 in Big Ten play, the Terps are winners of eight of their last 10 games.

With its national ranking restored heading into the final week of the regular season, Maryland will have to do something it has struggled to do all year to keep its momentum going: win on the road. The Terps will finish the regular season with two road games, traveling to Ohio State on Wednesday and Penn State on Sunday. Maryland is just 2-7 on the road this season, with its lone away victories coming against last-place power conference teams in Louisville and Minnesota.

With his team’s recent strong play, the campaign for Maryland head coach Kevin Willard to be named Big Ten Coach of the Year has begun. Both the team and players have pushed for it, and he has a valid case alongside Northwestern’s Chris Collins and Purdue’s Matt Painter. The Terps were projected to finish 10th in The Athletic’s unofficial Big Ten preseason media poll, and now they control their own destiny to secure the No. 2 seed in the Big Ten Tournament.

Maryland is projected to win both of its final two games, according to