Maryland has five 2019 NCAA Tournament teams and a couple meetings with former ACC foes on its non-conference schedule.
As part of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, the Terps will play in Raleigh against old rival North Carolina State on Dec. 5. The Wolfpack hold a 43-36 advantage in the series, though the teams have played only once since Maryland moved to the Big Ten in 2014 and never in the regular season. Their only game came in the second round of the 2018 NCAA Tournament, which NC State won, 74-50.
The other ACC opponent on the docket is Clemson. The Tigers and Terps will battle in Daytona Beach, Florida, in both sides’ opening game of the Daytona Beach Invitational on Nov. 29. Maryland leads the all-time series versus Clemson, 42-24, and this will be the programs’ first meeting since Feb. 9, 2014: a 95-43 walloping in Maryland’s favor. The Terrapins currently hold a 14-game winning streak over the Tigers, who haven’t defeated their former conference mate since 2003.
Maryland’s other opponent in the event will be Belmont on the following day. The Bruins are another one of the NCAA Tournament participants from a season ago on the slate for the Terps. NC State, Clemson, Quinnipiac (Nov. 24) and South Carolina round out the rest of the group.
The showdown with the Gamecocks is set to be one of Maryland’s biggest games in the early portion of the campaign. South Carolina welcomes the country’s leading recruiting class this offseason and brings back some important production from last year, making it fit to provide the Terps with a barometer of where they stand in the national picture on Nov. 10.
The Spin on Maryland
Most of the rotation is back for the 2019-20 season, with Kaila Charles, Shakira Austin and Taylor Mikesell headlining the familiar faces, and a couple highly-touted recruits are headed to College Park. The Terps are the favorites to claim the Big Ten crown yet again, which would extend the program’s dominance over the conference since joining in 2014 to five in six tries.
The expectations go beyond the Big Ten, though, as head coach Brenda Frese has enough talent and experience to push for her fourth Final Four. It was 2015 the last time the Terps played in the Elite Eight, which feels like an eternity considering their six appearances in the 10 previous years. Maryland will be hungry to advance further than the second round, which has tripped it up three of the last four Marchs, and it will be expected to do so.