Many outsiders and football-only types saw Maryland and Rutgers’ additions to the Big Ten as all about television revenue. While it was a major part of the equation, the newcomers have made themselves at home in many sports already this year.
The Maryland Terrapins Women’s basketball team happened to be one of the biggest feathers in the cap of Big Ten expansion. After being named the preseason favorites to win the conference by both the coaches and media, the Terps went wire-to-wire and will finish exactly where the experts and competition thought they would — as Big Ten champions.
Iowa went ahead and lost 100-82 to Ohio State and dropped to 12-4 in Big Ten play, meaning the 15-0 Terps clinched the outright Big Ten title in their first season in the league.
Not only are the fifth-ranked Terps undefeated in Big Ten play, but they are 24-2 overall. Maryland has won 18 consecutive games and plays next on Monday against Penn State.
It’s been an interesting year for the Big Ten, as four teams entered the season ranked in the AP Poll (Maryland, Michigan State, Nebraska and Purdue) and four teams are currently ranked. However, two of those teams weren’t in the Top 25 when the season started — Iowa and Maryland’s fellow newcomer, Rutgers.
While the Terps are Big Ten regular season champions and the No. 1 seed in the Big Ten tournament, pretty much every other seed in the league is going to be up for grabs over the final three games of regular season.