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Maryland rises to third in AP rankings after Orlando Invitational title; Cowan earns first Big Ten honor

Thanksgiving weekend tournaments brought plenty of change to the college basketball landscape, with Maryland’s Orlando Invitational championship mixed with the sport’s other results sending the Terps up to third in the latest Associated Press poll.

The rankings, released Monday, have 8-0 Maryland as the highest-ranked team in the Big Ten, one spot ahead of No. 4 Michigan, which was unranked before beating two teams with top-10 rankings in the Battle 4 Atlantis. Louisville and Kansas, who were in front of the Terps’ in the prior poll, are the top two respective teams.

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Of the rankings’ top five teams — a group that also includes Virginia — the Terps are the only one that did not receive any of the 65 first-place votes. Louisville garnered 48, with Michigan (nine), Virginia (five) and Kansas (three) securing the others. Maryland, which has the most all-time appearances in the poll without having been ranked first, appeared second on nine ballots, with a low vote of eighth.

After beating Temple, Harvard and Marquette in Orlando, Maryland returns to the Xfinity Center to face Notre Dame at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. The Fighting Irish received votes but are unranked. The Terps then open Big Ten play at 5 p.m. Saturday against Illinois.

Cowan scoops up weekly honors

A guiding force in No. 3 Maryland’s Orlando Invitational title, senior guard Anthony Cowan Jr. was named the NCAA Player of the Week and co-Big Ten Player of the Week on Monday.

Cowan, who shared his first career Big Ten weekly honor with Michigan’s Jon Teske, reached 20 points in each game of the tournament, including a career-high 30 in the opening round matchup with Temple. In the three games, he averaged 24 points on 51% shooting, including 45% from 3-point range. He added 4.3 assists, 2.3 steals and three rebounds per game to earn Orlando Invitational MVP.

On the season, Cowan is averaging 17.1 points while shooting 42.1% from 3, both career highs, with 4.5 assists per game.

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