Maryland dropped its out-of-conference schedule for the upcoming season a couple weeks ago, and it has more marquee matchups than in previous years.
A portion of the Terps fan base has been vocally disappointed with the lack of major non-conference games on the schedule for portions of head coach Mark Turgeon’s time in College Park, but it will be harder to make those same complaints this time. This non-conference won’t win awards for the toughest in the country, but there will be some legitimate tests for the Terps prior to the meat of Big Ten play.
The most difficult scheduled game will likely be when Maryland travels north to Newark for the second part of a home-and-home series with Seton Hall on Dec. 19. The Pirates took the game in College Park last year, 78-74, off 27 points from Myles Powell and 23 via Myles Cale. Both, along with essentially the whole rest of the team, are back this season, and Seton Hall should take a step forward from where it was in the 2018-19 campaign.
As part of the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, Maryland will face Notre Dame in College Park on Dec. 4. The Terps have been terrible in this event since leaving the ACC for the Big Ten in 2014, holding an 0-5 record so far. The Fighting Irish were atrocious last year, but they return 10 scholarship players, including Rex Pflueger and John Mooney. The jury is still out on whether or not Notre Dame can be a tournament team, but this could very reasonably be a Q1 or Q2 win for Maryland come Selection Sunday.
Maryland’s other notable non-conference games will come via the Advocare Invitational in Orlando, Florida. The Terps will face Temple on Nov. 28 in their first bracketed game of the event, then will play either Texas A&M or Harvard the following day. The rest of the event’s field includes USC, Marquette, Davidson and Fairfield, providing some more good opportunities for Maryland to test itself in the early stages of the season.
It will be a relatively light entry into the season in November, but once the Advocare Invitational rolls around, it’s going to be a tough month for the Terps. This non-conference schedule is backloaded, and you cannot forget the two Big Ten games Maryland will have to play in mid-December in between dates with Notre Dame and Seton Hall. Terps fans have to be more accepting of this non-conference schedule than usual.