Maryland men’s basketball cracked the AP top 25 for the first time this season, making its debut at No. 24 in the poll released Monday.
The Terps had been on the periphery of the poll since the preseason, but cracked through after beating Marshall by 37 points on Friday. The Terps (6-0) are now one of seven Big Ten teams in the top 25, more than any other conference.
Maryland garnered 170 votes, joining No. 7 Michigan, No. 9 Michigan State, No. 14 Iowa, No. 16 Ohio State, No. 19 Purdue and No. 22 Wisconsin in the rankings. After garnering the 28th-most votes last week, the Terps were helped by losses from UCLA, LSU, Clemson and now-No. 25 Mississippi State. The prior trio all dropped from the rankings, while the Bulldogs fell from No. 15 to the poll’s final spot.
Maryland has five players averaging double figures, led by Anthony Cowan with 16.8 points, five rebounds and 4.7 assists per game and Bruno Fernando with 16.2 points, 9.3 boards and 2.5 blocks a night. The Terps started the season in a shooting slump, but made 9 of 16 threes against Marshall and shot 57 percent from the field. The team also has a rebounding margin of plus-15.2 this season, the fourth-best margin in the nation.
Maryland’s first defense of its top-25 ranking will potentially be its toughest test of the season. The Terps welcome No. 4 Virginia to the Xfinity Center as part of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge on Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.