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Maryland men's basketball returns to the Top 25

COLLEGE PARK — Five years after finishing the season No. 20 in the Associated Press writers' poll and 18th in the USA Today coaches' poll, the Maryland men's basketball team made it back into both Top 25 rankings Monday.

Largely the result of their upset of then-No. 13 Iowa State last week in the CBE Hall of Fame Classic championship game in Kansas City, Mo., the Terps are ranked 21st in the AP writers' poll and 22nd in the USA Today coaches' poll.

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The last time Maryland was ranked was in the final poll after the 2009-10 season. Maryland was the only team in the "receiving votes" category last week to have beaten a ranked team this season.

Off to its best start in eight seasons, Maryland (7-0) hosts Virginia (7-0) on Wednesday in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge at Xfinity Center. The Cavaliers are ranked seventh in the AP poll and sixth in the USA Today poll.

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It will mark the first game for the Terps against one of their former Atlantic Coast Conference rivals since switching leagues. Maryland upset then-No. 5 Virginia in last year's regular-season finale.

Freshman point guard Melo Trimble, who has been a catalyst for the Terps in their fast start, said after Sunday's 95-77 victory over VMI that he believed Maryland deserved to be ranked among the nation's top teams after a grueling week that included four games in seven days.

"We've played hard," Trimble said after scoring 19 points while not missing a shot from the field (6-for-6 overall, 2 of 2 on 3-pointers). "We beat Iowa State, Arizona State and also, Monmouth, and [VMI on Sunday]. Those are tough games."

Fellow freshman Dion Wiley took a tact that Maryland coach Mark Turgeon likely would be pleased hearing.

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"I'm not worried about the rankings, as long as we continue to win," Wiley said after also scoring 19 points, his season-high, including 17 in the second half.

Turgeon could not be reached for comment Monday.

Trimble also was recognized Monday by the Big Ten as both the conference's Freshman of the Week and its co-Player of the Week, along with D.J. Newbill of Penn State.

The 6-foot-3 point guard averaged more than 21 points per game while helping the Terps win four games in a week. Trimble had a season-high 31 points against Arizona State on Monday and made eight free throws in the last 45 seconds to hold off Monmouth on Friday.

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