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What Maryland will like in the Big Ten

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What Maryland will like in the Big Ten

As Maryland fans settle into their new reality as a team leaving the ACC, many in the Terps crowd have been mourning all that they will miss from the conference.

Perhaps lost on Terps fans, there is plenty to look forward to in the Big Ten.

Stability -- With Maryland's decision to leave the ACC to join the Big Ten, another round of chaotic conference realignment could be afoot. While no team is truly safe outside of huge schools like Ohio State and Texas, the Big Ten appears to be arguably the most stable conference in the country. That stability stems from the Big Ten Network, the conference's cable network run jointly with Fox Sports. The Big Ten Network is viewed in over 70 million homes, and that number will jump with the addition of Maryland and Rutgers. With stability comes money, lots of it, and Maryland can use that too. 

A true rival? -- While Maryland had many rivalries in the ACC, the school lacked one true rival in the same vein of Alabama-Auburn or South Carolina-Clemson. Many Terps fans would call Duke their rival, but Duke always considered North Carolina its rival. In the Big Ten, the opportunity for a true rival exists.

Penn State finds itself in a similar situation: a football power without one true rival. Penn State and Maryland often find themselves recruiting the same players, and the states share a border. Many Penn State alumni live in the Washington, D.C., region and the two teams should be placed in the same division of the Big Ten once Maryland joins the conference.

For decades, Maryland and Penn State played each other in football. The Nittany Lions dominated the series, but there is a history. Two large schools, both lacking rivals, playing in each other's backyard. Sounds like a recipe for a rivalry.

Rose Bowl -- There is a reason the Rose Bowl is called the "Granddaddy of them all." One of the few bowl games to maintain its tradition, the Rose Bowl is the oldest and most prestigious college football bowl game in the country played in picturesque Southern California, pits the Big Ten champ against the winner of the Pac-12.

The odds of Maryland advancing to the Rose Bowl in the immediate future may be slim, but by playing in the Big Ten the Terps at least have the chance. It's a chance few teams get. 

Big time football -- Sure the distances to cover for Maryland fans to attend road games in the Big Ten will be longer, but the destinations are some of the most famous in all of the country. Madison, Ann Arbor, Columbus, Lincoln. The locations speak for themselves.

The ACC has some teams with good football tradition, Florida State and Clemson have great fans, but the overall atmosphere of football in the conference cannot touch the Big Ten. With big-time college football comes crazy fans, huge tailgates and incredible Saturday afternoons.  

  

Maryland may have trouble competing, at least in the beginning, but it could be a lot of fun. 

Big Ten hoops -- While the Big Ten may be a football conference, plenty of good basketball gets played. Indiana ranks as one of the all-time great basketball programs in the country and Michigan State under current coach Tom Izzo routinely ends up in the Final Four.

Maryland fans will miss playing Duke and North Carolina in hoops, there is no way around that, but Big Ten basketball will provide the Terps with plenty of good competition. Maryland fans will have to get used to a slower, plodding, physical style of basketball in the Big Ten compared to the ACC. Or maybe Maryland will force the Big Ten to get used to more athletic, fluid basketball like that played in the ACC. Either way, Big Ten basketball presents plenty of challenges for the Terps.  

The Big Ten is not the ACC. Maryland fans will certainly have much to miss from the conference they've known for nearly 60 years. But the Big Ten brings its own tradition, and with that, its own excitement.

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Terps back in AP Top 25 as Big Ten sees major shake up

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USA Today Sports

Terps back in AP Top 25 as Big Ten sees major shake up

The Maryland Terrapins began the 2016-17 college basketball season as the No. 25 team in the country according the Associated Press Top 25 poll. But after a dicey season-opening win against American, the Terps fell from the rankings and had not cracked the top 25 since.

But thanks to a 75-72 victory over Indiana and a 62-56 victory on the road against Illinois, Maryland is back in the rankings as the No. 25 team in the country.

While the Terps sit at the bottom of the AP Top 25 poll, they currently sit at the top of the Big Ten rankings with a 4-1 record.

Wisconsin, the only other Big Ten team ranked in the AP Top 25 (No. 17) sits in second with a 3-1 conference record. Northwestern, a team that has never reached the NCAA Tournament, sits tied for third at 4-2 along with Michigan State.

Purdue and Indiana, two teams that spent much of the early season ranked in the poll, are now unranked with 3-2 and 2-3 records respectively.

The Terps continue to get major production from their trio of freshman Kevin Huerter, Justin Jackson and Anthony Cowan. The three combined for 37 of the Terps' 72 points against the Hoosiers and 27 of the Terps' 62 points against the Illini. Melo Trimble, who was named to the midseason Wooden Award Watch List, led the way with 18 points against the Hoosiers and 12 points against the Illini. 

The Terps travel to Iowa to take on the Hawkeyes on Thursday, Jan. 19 at 7:00 p.m.

ASSOCIATED PRESS TOP 25 RANKINGS

1. Villanova (28): 17-1, 3
2. Kansas (32): 16-1, 2
3. UCLA (3): 18-1, 4
4. Gonzaga 2): 17-0, 5
5. Kentucky: 15-2, 6
6. Baylor: 16-1, 1
7. West Virginia: 15-2, 10
8. Creighton: 17-1, 8
9. North Carolina: 16-3, 11
10. Florida State: 16-2, 9
11. Oregon: 16-2, 13
12. Louisville: 15-3, 14
13. Butler: 15-3, 12
14. Arizona: 16-2, 16
15. Notre Dame: 16-2, 20
16. Virginia: 13-3, 19
17. Wisconsin: 14-3, 18
18. Duke: 14-4, 7
19. Florida: 14-3, 23
20. Cincinnati: 15-2, 22
21. Purdue: 14-4, 17
22. Xavier: 13-4, 15
23. Saint Mary's: 15-2, 21
24. South Carolina: 14-3, NR
25. Maryland: 16-2, NR

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Maryland overcomes cold start to top Illinois on the road

Maryland overcomes cold start to top Illinois on the road

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Anthony Cowan scored a career-high 19 points and led Maryland to a 62-56 win over Illinois on Saturday.

Maryland (16-2, 4-1 Big Ten) faced a better team than the one it dominated early in the season, but a sloppy second half from the Illini allowed the Terrapins to come back and hold off the Illini in the final five minutes.

The Terrapins had a cold start, including a 3-for-13 first half from beyond the arc, but Maryland responded to shoot 43 percent from the field and 27 percent from 3-point range to make up for earlier mistakes.

Shooting wasn't the only offensive area where Maryland controlled the pace, as the Terrapin bigs held a 32-14 advantage in the paint.

Melo Trimble and Jaylen Brantley each added 12 points.

Maverick Morgan led the way for Illinois (12-6, 2-3 Big Ten) with 15 points and five rebounds.

The Illini got production from numerous different players but inconsistency in the second half, including a scoring drought that last longer than seven minutes, stalled Illinois from holding on to a lead that was as large as 11.

Leron Black scored 14 points and added nine rebounds.