What a rollercoaster this Maryland men’s basketball season has been.
After starting the season 4-9 in Big Ten play, often teetering on the edge of falling below .500 and looking like they would miss the NCAA Tournament altogether, the Terps received nine votes in the latest AP Top 25 poll released Monday.
This ties the best showing for Maryland in the poll all year, for much of which it has been irrelevant nationally. The team received nine votes in the rankings released Nov. 30 and two votes on Dec. 7 — their only appearances in 2020-21 after having a steady presence last season.
The Terps caught some eyes with road upsets over then-No. 6 Wisconsin, then-No. 12 Illinois and then-No. 17 Minnesota earlier in the year, but they have especially gained the attention of the college basketball world over the past two weeks.
Maryland has won five consecutive games, defeating the likes of Minnesota, Nebraska (twice in a doubleheader), Rutgers and Michigan State since Feb. 14. Over that streak, the Terps have held opponents to an average 58.8 points per game and haven’t allowed a single team to shoot above 42.9% from the field.
Still, Monday’s attention in the poll is a drastic shift that not many were expecting. Eighteen ranked teams suffered losses over the past week, including several squads in the bottom half of the AP Top 25.
Six Big Ten teams made the rankings this week, including No. 2 Michigan, No. 4 Illinois, No. 5 Iowa, No. 7 Ohio State, No. 23 Purdue and No. 25 Wisconsin.
There are just two games left in the regular season for Maryland, against Northwestern on the road Wednesday and at home against Penn State this upcoming Sunday.