Maryland cracks top-25 in latest AP poll

On Monday afternoon the Associated Press released their NCAA men’s basketball poll for week four of the 2018-29 season. After winning their first six games of the season, the Maryland Terrapins find themselves ranked No. 24 in the nation. This is the first time since February of 2017 that the Terps have been in the AP top-25.

This early emergence in the top-25 may come as a surprise considering what happened in the offseason. Mark Turgeon was able to recruit another strong class but losing starters like Kevin Huerter and Justin Jackson to the NBA draft was a huge loss. Even after retaining key players like Anthony Cowan and Bruno Fernando, voters and media personalities struggled to pin down Maryland. Some had them finishing toward the top of the conference while others failed to see how they could build any momentum with such a young core. However, it appears many are starting to become convinced that this young Terps squad can make some noise this year.

Having Maryland in the top 25 will also be great for the upcoming ACC / Big Ten challenge as the Terps prepare to host Virginia on Wednesday November 28. The Cavaliers are currently ranked No. 4 in the AP poll and are coming off the heels of a nice 53-46 win over No. 25 Wisconsin.

This Wednesday’s nationally televised game will surely be a good one as Virginia receives their first big road test and the Terps will get their first chance for a resume win. The importance of this matchup cannot be stressed enough. The Big Ten currently has seven teams in the AP top-25 but Maryland may only get the chance to host a ranked team one or two more times this season.

The last time these two teams met was in December of 2014. The Terps knocked off the Cavilers in their final ACC home game earlier that year but Virginia would get it’s revenge on Maryland by taking them down in the ACC / Big Ten challenge. Almost four years later, there is still no love lost between these former conference foes.

Image credit: Patrick Semansky / AP

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BREAKING: UMBC defeats Virginia 74-54, becomes first 16-1 upset in NCAA Tournament history

CHARLOTTE, NC — For the first time in NCAA tournament history, a #16 seed defeated a #1 seed, and it was the University of Maryland – Baltimore County (UMBC) Retrievers that did so, taking down the top-ranked Virginia University Cavaliers 74-54.

The two teams went into halftime all knotted up at 21, but UMBC outscored Virginia 53-33 in the second half to seal the biggest upset in the history of March madness.

The Retrievers scored the first six points of the second half, three of them coming on a three-pointer made by junior forward Joe Sherburne, and there was no looking back from there. Graduate student guard Jarius Lyles made three free-throws in a row, and followed it up with a jumper that extended UMBC’s lead to 12 points.

By the time the Retrievers reached 50 points, they already had a commanding 16-point lead with 8:36 remaining in the game. The Cavaliers came within 12 points a few times after that point, but that would be as close as they got before the Retrievers pulled away, jump-started by a Lyles layup at the 3:55 mark.

As UMBC’s lead continued to grow, the Cavaliers started to foul. The Retrievers handled this well, going 4-for-5 in free-throw attempts in the final three minutes. The last points scored in the game came from a layup by Sherburne with 46 ticks left. After Nigel Johnson of Virginia missed a three-point jumper, the Retrievers ran the clock out as the history of March Madness was changed forever.

Lyles led the way for the Retrievers, scoring 28 points and going 3-for-4 from the three-point line. Sophomore forward Arkel Lamar notched a double-double, totaling 12 points and 10 rebounds. Senior guard K.J. Maura and Sherburne also reached double figures; Sherburne scored 14 points and Maura tallied 10. Lyles, Maura, and Lamar all tied for the team-lead in assists with three apiece.

As a team, UMBC out-shot Virginia in both field goals and three-pointers. The Retrievers went 26-for-48 in free-throw attempts (54.2%), while the Cavaliers went 23-for-56 (41.1%). UMBC only shot 50% from the three-point line in 24 attempts, but Virginia could not make anything. In 22 three-point attempts, the Cavaliers made just four three-pointers.

The Retrievers are back in action on Sunday against the #9-ranked Kansas State Wildcats. Kansas State topped #8 Creighton 69-59 on Friday. Start time is TBA.

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Image Credit: WCNC