For Maryland, being unranked doesn't matter

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Maryland is 10-1 and quietly going about its business outside the Associated Press Top 25 poll. But it's hard to argue the Terrapins deserve to be ranked even with that gaudy record. They lost their only marquee nonconference game to now unranked Kentucky on a neutral court. And while wins over Northwestern and George Mason are nice, they aren't exactly attention grabbers.

So what does Maryland have to do to step back into the national spotlight? Nothing in the short term.

It hosts Delaware State on Saturday and then IUPUI on New Year's Day. It's likely that the Terps will enter ACC play with a 12-game winning streak. Even then they open at home against Florida State (7-4) and a fading Virginia Tech (9-3), which was expected to struggle this season and is finally living down to expectations. Even wins against those teams at Comcast Center will do little for Maryland's reputation.

At this point in the season -- and with seven of their top 10 players either freshmen or sophomores -- a ranking doesn't matter anyway. That always has been the beauty of college basketball.

- Brian McNally

bmcnally@washingtonexaminer.com

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