Maryland College Basketball Power Rankings (12-23-17)
1. Towson (10-3 Best Win: Penn) – The only team in Maryland that has been receiving votes in the AP Poll for the past 3 weeks gets the number 1 spot here. Towson has beaten everybody they should, but fell to arguably their three best opponents they have faced (Pitt, Oakland, and Old Dominion) all on the road, but with ten wins their best quality one is probably UMBC or Penn. A positive for the tigers they have gone 5-0 against teams from the state.
2. Maryland (11-3 (1-1) Best Win: Butler) – Similar to Towson Maryland has beaten everybody they should, but lost three of their five most challenging games against Saint Bonaventure, Syracuse and Purdue. The Terps have one last nonconference tune up against UMBC at the Xfinity Center before continuing Big Ten play against Penn State.
3. Navy (9-4 Best Win: Pitt) – The mids will enter patriot league play as the clear number 2 team behind Bucknell. Their nonconference schedule has been a success so far. They went down to FGCU and won two out of three games there. They have also beaten quality Columbia and Morgan State teams. There is a buzz in Annapolis as Navy has a chance to make their first postseason trip since 1998.
4. UMBC (8-5 Best Win: Northern Kentucky) I witnessed UMBC capture the battle for Atlantis Tournament at thanksgiving which was a momentum booster as they have now won five of seven since that including over Horizon league title contender Northern Kentucky.
5. Mount Saint Mary’s (6-7 Best Win: North Florida) Mount Saint Mary’s best win is over 5-10 North Florida. That’s not good, but they have played a tough schedule thus far, and the mountaineers challenged Pitt on the road taking the panthers to overtime.
6. Morgan State (4-7 Best Win: South Florida) – Morgan State has 4-7, but the bears could just as easily be 8-3. They lost close games to Towson, George Mason, George Washington, and Navy. Morgan State is still I believe the front runner for the MEAC title. Don’t let the record fool you, all MEAC teams play difficult nonconference schedules, and the bears will run through the league once conference play starts.
7. Loyola (2-9 Best Win: Drexel) It is disappointing to watch Loyola because this season started off with so much promise. They greyhounds almost knocked off a top 20 opponent on the road on opening night, but since then they have done very little. I was there for the 53-point smacking of Goucher College the second largest margin of victory in program history, but other than that they have had a bunch of close games they lost at the end, and just got their first D1 win this late in the season against Drexel.
8. UMES (3-11 Best Win: American) In 44 days the hawks have played just two games in Princess Anne this has shown. They have been going on the road and getting absolutely slammed (by mostly high majors). A bright spot is they did manage to only lose by 6 at Hilton Coliseum to Iowa State.
9. Coppin State (0-13 Best Win: N/A) – Coppin State is a poor man’s UMES. They have failed to score 40 points three times, and given up 80 or more points 4 times. We were all aware this is a rebuilding year for them, but hopefully they can grab a few wins once MEAC play starts.