The Maryland Terrapins already had one of the strangest resumes of any team in the country this season, and that pattern continued on Saturday afternoon.
The Terps are just 3-6 in the vaunted Big Ten conference this season, but all three wins have come on the road against ranked teams - typically the most difficult places to win. Head coach Mark Turgeon famously struggled to earn his first ranked road win with Maryland in his first several seasons, but he has now won five in the past two years.
Maryland's three road wins this season haven't come against easy competition, either. Not only was each team ranked, but they have been ranked no. 6 (Wisconsin), no. 12 (Illinois) and no. 17 (Minnesota) at the time of each win. That makes Maryland the first team to have such success on the road while being unranked in the last five seasons.
It's also the first time in program history that Maryland has won three road games against ranked teams, period. It helps that the Big Ten is loaded this season, meaning the Terps have had plenty of opportunities for such victories.
It also has to be mentioned that this program record has come in a unique year. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, road games aren't quite as daunting as usual with no fans in attendance. Perhaps that explains why as the Terps have discovered how to win on the road, they are struggling to maintain their typical homecourt dominance in College Park.
The consistent theme to each of Maryland's upset wins has been defense, with their best performance of the season coming on Saturday. Minnesota was averaging more than 80 points per game at home, but Maryland held them to just 49 in the game.
"We all dogs, man," senior guard Darryl Morsell said after the win. "A team full of dogs and we built for this. We love coming in to other arenas and just leaving our mark."
All-Big Ten candidate Marcus Carr got his, scoring 25 points against the Terps. But no other Gopher topped nine points in the game. Maryland was similarly top-heavy in its scoring, with Eric Ayala (21) and Donta Scott (15) accounting for more than half of the Terps' 63 points, but it was their energy on the defensive end that won the game.
Maryland has played the second-most difficult schedule in the nation's toughest conference so far, but it isn't going to let up anytime soon. Their next game is scheduled for Wednesday against no. 10 Wisconsin, when the Terps will try to earn their first resume-building upset victory in the friendly confines of the Xfinity Center.