When the Maryland men’s basketball team's schedule for its first season in the Big Ten Conference was released a year ago, it seemed as if the conference had forgotten to bring a housewarming gift.
Not that the Terps' schedule was supposed to be easy, but a team picked to finish 10th in the 14-team league had to play its opener at Michigan State and three of the first four games away from College Park.
As it turned out, Maryland rode a double-overtime win over the Spartans, a subsequent victory at Purdue and a respectable 7-3 start all the way to a 14-4 league record and second-place finish, behind only Wisconsin.
How different the landscape seems now.
Considered the favorite to win the Big Ten — and on a small list of legitimate contenders for a national championship — Maryland starts off with bottom-feeders Penn State and Rutgers at home and Northwestern on the road.
Here are some other notes on Maryland’s Big Ten schedule, announced Thursday.