Unlike Mark Turgeon's first three years at Maryland, when a lack of early-season road experience and not many tough non-league games left his men's basketball team a little ill-prepared for what it would face in the ACC, the Terps should be more battle-tested when they start play in the Big Ten.
Unlike Maryland's final season in the ACC, most of the Big Ten's marquee programs will be coming to College Park.
The 2014-15 schedule, which was unveiled Thursday night on the Big Ten Network, includes a previously announced first-round matchup against Arizona State in the CBE Hall of Fame Classic in Kansas City on Nov. 24 as well as a home game against longtime rival Virginia on Dec. 3 in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge.
It also shows an interesting tuneup before the Big Ten games: a Dec. 21 matchup with Oklahoma State at storied Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater.
Turgeon said that the Oklahoma State game was added after seeing his team practice this summer. The Cowboys will return a game at Maryland in the future.
In general, the upgraded non-conference schedule was made to help Maryland's resume with the NCAA tournament selection committee.
"But we've got to win those games," Turgeon said.
Maryland opens and closes its first Big Ten season on the road, starting at Michigan State on Dec. 30 and ending at Nebraska on March 8. The Terps will play in their first Big Ten tournament the following week at the United Center in Chicago.
The Terps' first Big Ten home game is Jan. 3 against Minnesota.
Maryland plays preseason Big Ten favorite Wisconsin and national semifinalist Michigan at home only— a much different scenario than last year, when Maryland faced both Duke and North Carolina only on the road. This year they'll play Ohio State only on the road.
Of Maryland's scheduled opponents, nine played in the NCAA tournament last year, including seven from the Big Ten. There is also the possibility of a 10th if the Terps also face Iowa State in the CBE Hall of Fame classic. Two Big Ten opponents, Minnesota and Illinois, played in the National Invitation Tournament, which was won by the Gophers.
Maryland won't open its season at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, as it has against big-name opponents the past two years (eventual national champion Connecticut last year and Kentucky in 2012). The Terps will open at the recently renamed Xfinity Center on Nov. 14 against Wagner.
While there are enough gimme games on the home schedule to allow the Terps' five newcomers (four of them freshmen) a chance to blend with returning starters Dez Wells, Jake Layman and Evan Smotrycz, Turgeon also scheduled a couple that could be trap games if the Terps take their opponents lightly.
At the top of the list is a rematch with North Carolina Central, which finished last year 28-6 and earned the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference's bid to the NCAA tournament under coach LeVelle Moton, who also happens to be Wells' adopted uncle.
The 17-15 Terps beat the Eagles, 70-56, last year at Comcast Center, and Moton vowed not to play the Terps again until Wells was gone.
"He probably thinks he can beat us," Turgeon said.
Maryland's women's basketball schedule was also announced Thursday night.
The Terps feature a rematch with Notre Dame — the team that eliminated them in last year's Final Four — on Dec. 3 in Fort Wayne, Ind., as part of the ACC-Big Ten Challenge.
They open the season Nov. 14 at home against Mount St. Mary's and play their first Big Ten game Dec. 29 at home against Ohio State.
2014 Maryland Men's Basketball Schedule
Sat., Nov. 1 San Francisco State (Exhib.)
Sat., Nov. 8 Bowie State (Exhib.)
Fri., Nov. 14 Wagner
Mon., Nov. 17 Central Connecticut State
Thu., Nov. 20 Fordham
Mon., Nov. 24 vs. Arizona State (CBE Hall of Fame Classic)
Tue., Nov. 25 vs. TBD (Iowa State or Alabama) (CBE Hall of Fame Classic)
Fri., Nov. 28 Monmouth
Sun., Nov. 30 VMI
Wed., Dec. 3 Virginia (ACC/Big Ten Challenge)
Sat., Dec. 6 Winthrop
Wed., Dec. 10 NC Central
Sat., Dec. 13 USC Upstate
Sun., Dec. 21 at Oklahoma State
Sat., Dec. 27 Oakland
Tue., Dec. 30 at Michigan State
Sat., Jan. 3 Minnesota
Wed., Jan. 7 at Illinois
Sat., Jan. 10 at Purdue
Wed., Jan. 14 Rutgers
Sat., Jan. 17 Michigan State
Thu., Jan. 22 at Indiana
Sun., Jan. 25 Northwestern
Thu., Jan. 29 at Ohio State
Wed., Feb. 4 Penn State
Sun., Feb. 8 at Iowa
Wed., Feb. 11 Indiana
Sat., Feb. 14 at Penn State
Thu., Feb. 19 Nebraska
Tue., Feb. 24 Wisconsin
Sat., Feb. 28 Michigan
Tue., Mar. 3 at Rutgers
Sun., Mar. 8 at Nebraska
2014-15 Maryland women's basketball schedule
San Juan Shootout
ACC/Big Ten Challenge
Editor's Note: An earlier version of this article included schedule errors for the men's and women's basketball team. They have been corrected.