With losses at the top, Maryland finally could be No. 1 in Monday's rankings

Two weeks ago, the Maryland men's basketball team seemed on the verge of dropping out of the top 10 in the Associated Press poll for the first time this season after a second Big Ten Conference road loss in as many weeks, to Michigan State.

Now the Terps could be on the brink of their first in-season No. 1 ranking in school history.


With losses last week by Oklahoma and North Carolina — the current No. 1 teams in the AP poll and USA Today coaches poll, respectively — No. 3 Villanova and No. 4 Maryland likely will get the bulk of the No. 1 votes in the rankings released Monday afternoon.

The Sooners lost at Kansas State, and the Tar Heels lost twice, at Louisville and at Notre Dame. North Carolina beat Maryland earlier this season at home.

Rasheed Sulaimon finished with 21 points and 10 rebounds, while Robert Carter Jr. scored 19 as the Terps improved to 10-2 in Big Ten play.

While the Wildcats are expected to move up to No. 1 in the AP poll after a 72-60 win at No. 11 Providence on Saturday, it will be interesting to see whether the Terps do the same in the USA Today poll after beating No. 18 Purdue, 72-61, on Saturday in College Park. (They are ranked No. 3 in the coaches poll.)

A top ranking would be historic. Maryland has been ranked No. 1 only once, when it finished atop the coaches poll after winning the national championship in 2002.

The Terps never have been No. 1 in the AP poll, which releases its final rankings before the NCAA tournament. They have been as high as No. 2 in the AP poll this season as well as in 2002.

Villanova or Maryland would become the fifth team to be ranked No. 1 in either poll this season.

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