Virginia moved up two spots to round out the top five. Maryland (8-0) is the only team in the top five that did not receive any first-place votes.
Two other Big Ten programs are in this week’s rankings: No. 6 Ohio State and No. 11 Michigan State. Purdue, Indiana and Penn State received votes.
Since AP began ranking men’s basketball teams in 1949, the Terps have spent 26 weeks in the No. 2 spot but have never been the top-ranked team. The next-longest amount of time a school has spent ranked second without moving into first is 10 weeks by Purdue. Dayton (seven weeks at No. 2), St. Bonaventure (seven) and UTEP (four) are the other teams that have held that No. 2 spot for the longest period of time without ever reaching No. 1.
The Terps most recently climbed to No. 2 during the 2015-16 season, which was packed with expectations and began with promise. But the team struggled late in the season and lost to Kansas in the NCAA tournament’s round of 16.
After tight games against Temple and Harvard to open the Orlando Invitational last week, Maryland cruised against Marquette. Led by junior Darryl Morsell, the Terps shut down Markus Howard, the nation’s leading scorer, holding him to six points. Senior guard Anthony Cowan Jr. scored at least 20 points in all three games in the tournament.
All four healthy freshmen — Makhi Mitchell, Makhel Mitchell, Donta Scott and Hakim Hart — played quality minutes for the Terps, particularly in the final. When the Terps pulled away from the Golden Eagles early with a 12-0 run, three freshmen were on the floor during a part of that stretch, and they scored seven of Maryland’s 12 points. Coach Mark Turgeon said his team built depth while in Orlando, and “we’re getting closer to the team I thought we’d be.”
One month into the season, eight teams ranked in the preseason top 10 have lost. Only Louisville and Maryland remain undefeated. Maryland began the season ranked seventh.
The Orlando Invitational began Maryland’s stretch of more difficult opponents, which continues Wednesday with a home game against Notre Dame, followed by early Big Ten Conference games against Illinois and at Penn State, then a trip to No. 16 Seton Hall.