The out-of-conference schedule for the next season of Maryland men’s basketball is slowly starting to take shape.
As of now, we know the Terps will be playing Delaware, Hofstra and Marshall. Additionally, they will not be playing anyone from the Big East in the Gavitt Games.
Until the entire schedule is known, it can be fun to think about some possible matchups that would create some entertaining games for the Terps. If Terps Watch was in charge of creating Maryland’s out-of-conference schedule, here’s what it would look like.
Texas A&M and/or Wichita State
Before Mark Turgeon was hired by Maryland, he spent seven years at Wichita State and four years with the Aggies. A chance for Turgeon to get to coach against the two schools that helped him make a name for himself would be a pretty neat moment and create a pretty compelling narrative for the game. Plus, a matchup with either of those schools would give Maryland a chance at a quality win against a pair of schools that made the NCAA tournament last season.
Let’s stick with the theme of Turgeon coaching against schools he has a personal connection to by mentioning the Jayhawks. Turgeon played in Lawrence for four seasons between 1983 and 1987, so it’s fair to say he would be excited for another chance to coach against his alma mater. The Terps hosting Kansas would be one of the Maryland’s most exciting out-of-conference home games ever and Maryland traveling to the famed Allen Fieldhouse would also be an incredible experience. And of course if Maryland wins, it’d give the Terps revenge for the 2016 Sweet 16.
UMBC, but in Baltimore or on its campus
Little known fact: UMBC was the first No. 16 seed to beat a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament for men’s basketball. The Retrievers lost to Maryland in College Park last season before making history against Virginia. However, the Terps should give UMBC another chance to play them, but this time without the home-court advantage that comes with playing at Xfinity Center. The Terps could play a neutral-site contest at Royal Farms Arena or they could even give be willing to take a quick bus ride over to Catonsville and let UMBC host the state’s flagship school.
Sticking with the theme of playing schools that are near Maryland, it would be a welcome development for the Terps to start regularly playing one of their main football rivals in basketball. Facing Bob Huggins’ infamous press defense could prove to be tricky, but it would be a valuable experience for the Terps to face that defense early in the season. Much like Kansas, this would also give Maryland a chance at revenge for knocking them out of the NCAA tournament.
There is a 99 percent chance this isn’t actually going to happen until Coach K retires or Maryland plays them in the NCAA tournament, but it can’t hurt to include the Blue Devils.