Despite losing two of its past three games, the Terrapins men’s basketball team still controls its own destiny in the Big Ten.
With No. 8 Iowa dropping two straight games, the No. 10 Terps are now tied with the Hawkeyes and sit one loss back of No. 18 Indiana in the conference standings. Because the Terps play the Hoosiers in the final game of the regular season, they can make up that one-game difference.
So with three games left before postseason play, the Terps have their sights set on securing the regular-season Big Ten title in their second year in the conference.
“The only thing we talk about is winning the league,” coach Mark Turgeon said Friday.
The final three games — at No. 20 Purdue, home to Illinois and at Indiana — will also be crucial in determining what seed the Terps get in the conference tournament. If they win them all, they will be the top seed. Lose them all, and they will miss a double bye and could be seeded as low as No. 7.
Turgeon didn’t want to consider that, though. Instead, he focused on the positive opportunity they have.
“We don’t need to have anybody beat Indiana for us to win the league,” Turgeon said. “We have to do it.”
The Terps have struggled in true road games this season, going 4-4. Plus, they dropped both road contests that came against ranked teams.
If they want to win the title, they’ll need to beat two ranked foes on the road. The opportunity starts Saturday in West Lafayette, Indiana.
“We have to beat Purdue first,” Turgeon said. “If we don’t beat Purdue, we are probably out of it.”