How far will the Maryland Terrapins drop?


After falling short against Illinois by a score of 64-57, this question has come up a lot over the last couple of days: How far will the Terps drop in the rankings? The Fighting Illini came into the game with a record of 10-5, while Maryland fell short in just one matchup this season. That game took place a little over a month ago in the Xfinity Center against the No. 7 ranked Virginia Cavaliers.

The Terps lost the game, but only by 11 points. They were ranked at 21 heading into that game, and the solid effort put forth by UMD earned them two spots in the rankings. They have since then won eight straight games, including some pretty impressive road victories to Oklahoma State and Michigan State.

Their most impressive win came on November 25th, when they beat No. 13 Iowa State. They are currently ranked at number 11, which is their highest ranking since 2002 when they won the national championship. However, after suffering a loss to good, yet un-ranked team in Illinois, their ranking will take some sort of hit.

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Assuming they come out victorious in Purdue on Saturday afternoon, which is not a guarantee considering that the Boilermakers currently hold a record 10-6 and a Big Ten conference record of 2-1, the Terps should not drop all that much. As a ranked team, you never want to fall to un-ranked teams, but almost everyone does. Add the fact that the Fighting Illini play in the tough Big Ten conference, and it really isn’t such a terrible loss for Maryland.

However, the fashion in which they lost should be a little more concerning for Terps’ fans. Only two players scored in the double-digits, and three of their starters were held to six points or less. They actually held a two point lead at halftime, but due to their extremely sloppy play in the second half, Illinois was able to take advantage and outscore Maryland 38-29 in the last 20 minutes of the games.

However, let’s just say that Maryland were to beat Purdue on Saturday to make matters simpler. If they accomplish this, then they will hold a record of 15-2 and should only drop about three or four spots. That means that they should be ranked about 14th or 15th in the new AP polls.

This is the best team that Maryland has had in over a decade, so let’s enjoy being a ranked team for once. This is not something that the modern-day Terps fan is used to, and new experiences (especially positive ones), are always good.