Maryland vs. Ohio State score, takeaways: Buckeyes improve projected NCAA Tournament seeding with victory

Maryland joined the ranks of fallen powers on Sunday, becoming the fifth top-10 team to lose this weekend as Ohio State snapped the Terrapins’ nine-game winning streak with a 79-72 victory.

No. 25 Ohio State (18-9, 8-8 Big Ten) will likely move from a projected No. 7 seed in the NCAA Tournament, where it currently sits in the latest Bracketology breakdown, to a No. 6 seed, according to CBS Sports expert Jerry Palm. Maryland entered as a projected No. 2 seed and its projection is not expected to change, according to Palm.

Maryland’s Anthony Cowan fouled out with 3:54 remaining when he picked up a technical foul for protesting a no-call as he made a driving lay-up that was contested by Ohio State’s Kaleb Wesson. That left the Terrapins without their leading scorer down the stretch. Cowan scored just 10 points, and the Terrapins’ other star struggled, too, as sophomore forward Jalen Smith’s nation-leading streak of nine straight double-doubles was snapped. Smith finished with eight points and seven rebounds

Luther Muhammad led the Buckeyes in the victory with 22 points as Ohio State improved to 5-8 in Quadrant 1 games. The win is the sixth in the last eight games for an Ohio State team that finally re-entered the AP Top 25 this week after four weeks outside of the poll.

Let’s have a look at some of the key takeaways from the Buckeyes’ big win on Sunday. 

1. Big Ten title not a lock just yet: A win would have given Maryland a nearly insurmountable three-game lead over Penn State in the Big Ten standings with just four regular-season games remaining after the Nittany Lions lost at Indiana on Sunday. But even with Sunday’s loss, the Terrapins (23-4, 12-4) still enter the regular season’s final two weeks with a two-game lead in the conference standings. If the Terrapins can get it done, it would be their first conference title since joining the Big Ten ahead of the 2014-15 season.

2. Ohio State’s resurgence is legit: After losing Thursday at Iowa, a loss to Maryland would have likely made Ohio State’s return to the AP Top 25 short-lived. Instead, the Buckeyes continued to prove that their resurgence is legitimate. No, the team won’t be back in the top-five anytime soon like it was for a four-week stretch earlier in the season, but it sure looks like coach Chris Holtmann is about to go 3-for-3 on qualifying for NCAA Tournaments during his tenure.

3. Questionable call on Cowan: The technical that Cowan received undoubtedly made a huge impact on how the final four minutes of the game played out. The senior guard has shown this season that he is capable of getting hot in clutch situations and has no fear of taking big shots. Without him, the Terrapins held their own but could not close the gap in the final minutes. It’s fair to question whether he should have been assessed a technical for his reaction to the no-call on Wesson. The fact that he was won’t cheapen the joy of victory for Ohio State, but it might leave Maryland annoyed that such a call contributed to the end of its nine-game winning streak.

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