After winning a share of the Big Ten title, the Maryland men’s basketball team finished the regular season ranked No. 12 in the Associated Press poll released March 9.
Kansas (28-3) takes the top spot, followed by Gonzaga (29-2), Dayton (29-2), Florida State (26-5) and Baylor (26-4).
Michigan State (No. 9) is the poll’s highest-ranked Big Ten team. Maryland, Wisconsin (No. 18), Ohio State (No. 19), Illinois (No. 21) and Iowa (No. 25) are also ranked. The Terps finished the regular season 24-7 overall and 14-6 in the Big Ten.
Maryland lost to Rutgers, 78-67, in Piscataway, N.J., with the Scarlet Knights dictating play from the outset. The Terps trailed for the final 35:35 and finished the game 6-of-32 from 3-point range. Senior guard Anthony Cowan Jr. scored 19 points and sophomore center Jalen Smith scored 17, but the supporting cast struggled.
The Rutgers game marked Maryland’s fourth game in 10 days. The Terps got four days off before facing Michigan March 8, and Maryland responded by playing one of its most complete games in weeks. Several Terps played well, but this was Cowan’s day. He scored 20 points on 7-of-11 shooting while capturing a share of the regular-season title on Senior Day.
The Big Ten tournament is next for Maryland. The Terps earned the No. 3 seed and a double bye in the tournament. They’ll face Indiana, Nebraska or Penn State in the quarterfinals at 9 p.m. March 13. Facing the Nittany Lions would give the Terps an opportunity to avenge their December loss in State College, Pa. They beat the Hoosiers twice and defeated the Huskers in their only matchup of the season.
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