The Maryland men’s basketball team will host Virginia in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge in what’s likely to be the Terps’ headlining nonconference matchup of the 2018-19 season, FanRag Sports reported Thursday.
The reigning Atlantic Coast Conference champion Cavaliers are considered a preseason top-10 team despite their historic loss to No. 16 seed UMBC in the NCAA tournament last season. Virginia returns three starters and ACC Sixth Man of the Year DeAndre Hunter, a likely first-round pick in next year’s draft who should help offset the loss of All-ACC pick Devon Hall and ACC Defensive Player of the Year Isaiah Wilkins.
Maryland has lost seven of its past eight games against the Cavaliers, who under coach Tony Bennett last season set a program record for wins (31). The Terps last played their old ACC rival in December 2014 and last won in March 2014. Before then, they had lost their past six meetings. Maryland leads the all-time series 107-73.
Though they have played just four ACC-Big Ten Challenge games with the Big Ten since leaving the ACC in 2014, the Terps are the league’s only winless team in the annual competition. Most recently, Maryland lost at Syracuse, one of the Big Ten’s 11 losses last season in the 14-game slate.
The Cavaliers figure to be perhaps the toughest team the Terps face in or out of league play next season. Maryland’s nonconference schedule features an otherwise tepid array of reported opponents, including Navy, Mount St. Mary’s, Marshall and Hofstra. With the Terps omitted from next season’s Gavitt Tipoff Games and sophomore guard Kevin Huerter’s decision Wednesday to remain in the draft, their early-season matchup against Virginia could prove pivotal in the team’s quest to return to the NCAA tournament.
Dates and times for the ACC-Big Ten Challenge have yet to be announced.