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Breaking Down Maryland’s 2019-’20 Schedule

What will the Terrapins face this season?

NCAA Basketball: Big Ten Media Day Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports

Mark Turgeon’s Terrapins enter the 2019-’20 season with sky-high expectations. The AP preseason no. 7 team in the country possesses a roster full of skill, depth, variety, and experience. Can they get to a Final Four or Elite Eight for the first time since their 2002 national championship?

Let’s take a look at what they are up against.

Maryland’s 2019-’20 Schedule

  • 11/5 - Holy Cross
  • 11/9 - Rhode Island
  • 11/18 - Oakland
  • 11/19 - Fairfield
  • 11/22 - George Mason
  • 11/28 - Temple (Orlando, FL)
  • 11/29 - Harvard/Texas A&M (Orlando, FL)
  • 12/1 - Orlando Invitational (Orlando, FL)
  • 12/4 - Notre Dame
  • 12/7 - Illinois
  • 12/10 - at Penn State
  • 12/19 - at Seton Hall
  • 12/29 - Bryant
  • 1/4 - Indiana
  • 1/7 - Ohio State
  • 1/10 - at Iowa
  • 1/14 - at Wisconsin
  • 1/18 - Purdue
  • 1/21 - at Northwestern
  • 1/26 - at Indiana
  • 1/30 - Iowa
  • 2/4 - Rutgers
  • 2/7 - at Illinois
  • 2/11 - Nebraska
  • 2/15 - at Michigan State
  • 2/18 - Northwestern
  • 2/23 - at Ohio State
  • 2/26 - at Minnesota
  • 2/29 - Michigan State
  • 3/3 - at Rutgers
  • 3/8 - Michigan

Non-Conference Breakdown

Holiday Tournament

This season the Terrapins head to the Sunshine state for the Orlando Invitational. In their first game, they will take on Temple. The Owls are no. 86 in KenPom and project to be around a .500 team this season. Should the Terrapins move on they will take on Harvard or Texas A&M.

This one could be more intriguing. Harvard, under Tommy Amaker, projects to win the Ivy League and received 24 votes in the first AP poll this season. Texas A&M is in its first season under Buzz Williams and projects to go 15-13 overall. Hard to say who Maryland might take on here because this game is a toss-up.

Should the Terrapins get by Harvard or Texas A&M they will likely play USC or Marquette in the championship. The Trojans are currently no. 50 in KenPom right now and Marquette no. 15.

Overall, Maryland enters as the favorite for this tournament, but there are some intriguing teams they might run into. A potential top-15 matchup against Maryland and Marquette in the championship would be a fun one to take in as Thanksgiving weekend winds down.

Gavitt Games

The Terrapins don’t play in the Gavitt Games this season but do have a road game at Seton Hall on December 19th. The Pirates project to win the Big East this season and are led by one of the best guards in the country, Myles Powell. An Anthony Cowan and Powell matchup is must-see television. Another matchup that should be intriguing is Jalen Smith against 6-foot-11 center, Sandro Mamukelashvili. The Georgian center currently averages 11 points and five rebounds this season.

Any road game against a top-12 opponent will be difficult. Expect a close and competitive game from New Jersey.

ACC/Big Ten Challenge

In the latest iteration of the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, Maryland hosts Mike Brey and the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. Notre Dame had a disappointing 14-19 record last season but return pretty much everyone on the roster. KenPom currently has them at no. 43 and Team Rankings has them as a 9-seed with a 41 percent chance of making the NCAA Tournament.

Even with the improvement from a year ago, it is hard to see the Irish defeating the Terrapins here. As with any Coach Brey team, expect the Irish to play hard and compete in a tough road environment, but it will likely be too much to handle.

A player to watch for Notre Dame is senior T.J. Gibbs. The 6-foot-3 guard put up 19 points in the season-opener against North Carolina and averaged almost 13.5 points per game last season. Take a look at some highlights of Gibbs dropping 22 at Duke last season.

Conference Breakdown

Toughest Stretch

  • 2/15 - at Michigan State
  • 2/18 - Northwestern
  • 2/23 - at Ohio State
  • 2/26 - at Minnesota
  • 2/29 - Michigan State
  • 3/3 - at Rutgers
  • 3/8 - Michigan

This is a little more than a stretch of games, but I’ve included it to highlight the difficulty of Maryland’s last seven games. The Terps will get Michigan State twice (probably with Joshua Langford back), Ohio State on the road, two upset possibilities in Minnesota and Rutgers, and a solid Michigan team to conclude its Big Ten schedule. That’s not an easy stretch.

For a team like Maryland, 6-1 with a win over Michigan State is probably the goal here. Here’s guessing Mark Turgeon would take 5-2 as well.

Road Game To Watch Out For

  • 1/10 at Iowa

The Hawkeyes are one of the big wildcard teams in the league this year. After a great year last year, Iowa is facing some turnover this year and is seemingly down their best player, Jordan Bohannon, due to an injury. But Bohannon might be back(?) and the Hawkeyes are a top-40 KenPom team right now. Expect them to be firmly on the bubble all year long and a game like this one could be a golden opportunity to get on the right side of the bubble on Selection Sunday.

Overall Outlook

This is a pretty manageable schedule for the Terps this year. The Orlando Invitational is a chance for the Terrapins to earn a top-15 win over Marquette, and the Terps get a couple of cracks at Michigan State and Ohio State and get Purdue only coming to College Park.

Outside of this, there are teams like Notre Dame, Temple, Rhode Island, and Texas A&M that could be nice non-conference wins if those teams improve throughout the year.

This is a very important season for Turgeon and the Terrapins. The Maryland faithful need to see all of this talent translating into Big Ten titles and deep trips into March. He’s locked and loaded again. Let’s see what they can do.