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Maryland men's basketball rises to No. 1 in ESPN rankings

Without playing a game, the Maryland men's basketball team leapfrogged both North Carolina and Kentucky as the No. 1 team in ESPN's no-longer-way-too-early Top 25 poll.

Though this is certainly not an official ranking, it demonstrates the kind of buzz that is expected to follow the Terps into the 2015-16 season. Maryland opens its season Nov. 13 against Mount St. Mary's.

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Maryland is coming off a surprising 28-7 season that included a school-record 26 regular season victories, but ended with a second-round defeat to West Virginia in the NCAA tournament.

Despite the loss of second-leading scorer Dez Wells, Mark Turgeon's team returns leading scorer Melo Trimble, a first-team All-Big Ten Conference selection by the media, as well as Jake Layman, a third-team all-league media pick.

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Much of the hype for the Terps surrounds their two big additions, freshman center Diamond Stone and Duke transfer Rasheed Sulaimon. Maryland will also add two other transfers, forward Robert Carter Jr. and junior college point guard Jared Brantley.

Regardless of where Maryland starts the season in the polls, the Terps will be challenged early with a schedule that includes a Nov. 17 home game against Georgetown in the inaugural Gavitt Tipoff Games and a Dec. 1 meeting with the Tar Heels in Chapel Hill in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge.

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