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Maryland basketball's Big Ten schedule is home heavy to start

The Maryland basketball team will have three of its first four Big Ten games at home.

The Maryland men’s basketball team knew it had a favorable rotation of Big Ten games compared to its first two years in the conference.

On Thursday, the Terps found out it begins even better than expected.

Maryland, which has to replace all its starters from last year’s 27-9 Sweet 16 team aside from junior point guard Melo Trimble, will play its first two Big Ten games and three of its first four at Xfinity Center.

The Terps open with home games on Dec. 27 against Illinois and Jan. 1 against Nebraska. After a road trip Jan. 7 to Michigan, Maryland plays Indiana at home on Jan. 10.

Maryland faces the Hoosiers only once this season. The Terps also have their only meetings with Purdue (Feb. 4) and Michigan State (March 5) in College Park. Maryland plays Nebraska only once. 

Conversely, the Terps play against Wisconsin once, in Madison on Feb. 19. The other teams Maryland faces on the road without a return trip are Penn State (Feb. 7) and Northwestern (Feb. 15).

Maryland will play home-and-away against Illinois, Iowa, Rutgers, Minnesota and Ohio State.

In 2014-15, the Terps opened with three of their first four Big Ten games on the road, yet managed to finish 14-4 overall, second behind Wisconsin. Last season, Maryland played three of its first five on the road and finished 12-6, tied for third. The Terps faced Michigan State and Indiana only on the road.   

“It is a highly competitive schedule, which includes a Big Ten Conference slate that is always tough,” Maryland coach Mark Turgeon said in a news release. "... We are appreciative of the support and enthusiasm from our fans during our first two seasons in the Big Ten. They have played an instrumental role in our 34-2 record at Xfinity Center during that span.”

Maryland opens the 2016-17 season with an exhibition against Catawba College on Nov. 5 and plays its first official game against American on Nov. 11. The highlights of the nonconference schedule are matchups against Georgetown in Washington on Nov. 15 and against Pittsburgh at Xfinity Center on Nov. 29.

The Terps will play for the second straight year in Baltimore, where they face Charlotte at Royal Farms Arena on Dec. 20. The Big Ten tournament will be held at Verizon Center.

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Maryland's Big Ten schedule

Dec. 27, vs. Illinois                                                          

Jan. 1, vs. Nebraska

Jan. 7, at Michigan                                       

Jan. 10, vs. Indiana                                             

Jan. 14, at Illinois                                           

Jan. 19, at Iowa                                               

Jan. 24, vs. Rutgers                                              

Jan. 28, at Minnesota                                      

Jan. 31, at Ohio State                                      

Feb. 4, vs. Purdue                                             

Feb. 7, at Penn State                                     

Feb. 11, vs Ohio State                                         

Feb. 15, at Northwestern                                 

Feb. 19, at Wisconsin                                  

Feb. 22, vs. Minnesota                                     

Feb. 25, vs. Iowa                                             

Feb. 28, at Rutgers                                        

March 5, vs. Michigan State