NCAA

Maryland rises in AP poll after back-to-back Big Ten road wins

Maryland rises in AP poll after back-to-back Big Ten road wins

After two Big Ten road victories this week, the Maryland Terrapins men's basketball team has risen two spots in the latest Associated Press poll.

The Terps trailed by as many as 15 against Northwestern on Tuesday but stormed back in the second half to defeat the Wildcats for their first road victory of the season. Sophomore Jalen Smith had a career night for the Terps, finishing with 25 points, including 21 in the second half.

On Sunday, Maryland appeared to be on the ropes against Indiana, trailing by six with under 90 seconds to play. But the Terps finished the back-and-forth matchup with a 7-0 run, capped by Smith's game-winning basket with 14.5 seconds remaining. 

The Hoosiers missed a last-second attempt, and Maryland escaped Assembly Hall with their third consecutive victory. Smith, who had a career-high of 25 against Northwestern, topped that performance with a 29-point effort against Indiana.

Five other Big Ten teams were in the Top 25: No. 14 Michigan State, No. 18 Iowa, No. 19 Illinois, No. 24 Penn State and No. 25 Rutgers.

Below is the full poll.

1. Baylor
2. Gonzaga
3. Kansas
4. San Diego State
5. Florida State
6. Louisville
7. Dayton
8. Villanova
9. Duke
10. Seton Hall
11. Oregon
12. West Virginia
13. Kentucky
14. Michigan State
15. Maryland
16. Butler
17. Auburn
18. Iowa
19. Illinois
20. Colorado
21. Houston
22. LSU
23. Wichita State
24. Penn State
25. Rutgers

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Ohio State's Chris Holtmann and Maryland's Mark Turgeon are now possibly feuding over tip times

Ohio State's Chris Holtmann and Maryland's Mark Turgeon are now possibly feuding over tip times

If you haven't heard already, Maryland head coach Mark Turgeon is tired of the Big Ten scheduling late tip times for his Terrapins. Other coaches in the conference have certainly heard and one spoke his mind about it. 

After barely squeaking by Minnesota on Wednesday, Turgeon made it a point in his postgame interview to speak his mind on a 9:00 pm ET (8:00 pm local) tip. 

"Here's the deal. My goal is to be in my driveway before 4:30. We played a 9:00 game in Minnesota on a weeknight. It makes no sense," Turgeon told Big Ten Network.

Apparently Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann took issue with that remark. Just a day later he was very poignant on the issue.

"It was great having a 9:00 pm tip. We could get in here early and it was great having a 9:00 pm tip," Holtmann said in his opening statement after a 21-point win over Nebraska.

Holtmann didn't directly call out Turgeon, but it would be hard to stretch that to a coincidence. 

Now, Turgeon was the first to admit that he might have let the emotion of the moment consume him (the final minute of regulation lasted 16 minutes of real-time in a thrilling buzzer-beating win). He also had just learned that their team plane was having issues, which would delay their arrival back in College Park. 

"I want to apologize to the Big Ten," Turgeon said postgame. "I made a comment about, 'I just want to be in my driveway by 4:30. We shouldn't have played this game.' Apologize to the Big Ten. Whatever you throw at us, I love being in the Big Ten, it's a great league.

"All the leadership. So I apologize for that. We'll get home eventually. We've got plane problems. So me popping off probably caused the plane problems. So we'll get home sometime. Sorry."

Back to Holtmann though. It is also not the first time that Holtmann has had some pointed comments for the Maryland coach. 

The day following Ohio State's upset win over the Terps on Sunday, Holtmann took a moment out of his media availability to make an issue of Turgeon calling Buckeye center Kaleb Wesson a "bully." He did though continuously reaffirm his respect for the coach. 

"I think it's inappropriate. I've never seen this much conversation after a loss," Holtmann said. "Those comments afterwards were quite honestly a little bit out of place."

All signs are now pointing to Holtmann not being really fond of Turgeon. Or it could be merely of coaches posturing themselves to their fans and the conference. You can be the judge. 

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Cal Ripken Jr. congratulates Terps' Anthony Cowan Jr. on becoming the latest 'Iron Man'

Cal Ripken Jr. congratulates Terps' Anthony Cowan Jr. on becoming the latest 'Iron Man'

Anthony Cowan Jr.'s time at the University of Maryland has been filled with big buckets in clutch moments. But above all else, Cowan has been one thing for the Terps: consistent.

On Wednesday night, for Maryland's thrilling last-second win over Minnesota, Cowan started his 127th consecutive game. Now a senior, Cowan has never missed a game in his Maryland career. The start on Wednesday allowed him to pass Keith Booth for the most consecutive starts in school history.

An impressive feat, Cowan is now the Terps' "Iron Man."

Among all the congratulations, Cowan received a special one from one of the all-time Iron Men: Cal Ripken Jr. The former Orioles shortstop, who played in a record 2,632 straight games, sent a message to Cowan welcoming him to a special group.

The Hall of Famer, who has been in attendance at Maryland games in the past, said the best part about being an Iron Man is that you're someone everyone can rely on. He sees a lot of that in the Maryland guard.

"I wanted you to know that we can all count on you," Ripken Jr. said. "Keep things rolling and good luck in March."

If Maryland wants to make a deep run in March, it'll need Cowan to continue to be consistent. The good thing for the Terps is that he knows no other way.

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