Here’s the 2009-10 Maryland Terrapins’ basketball schedule, with home games in bold. Not too shabby, and if they perform to expectations, they should be a ticket to a 10th seed or better in the tournament.
Tue, Nov. 3 vs. Indiana (Pa.) (exhibition) 8 p.m.
Fri, Nov. 13 vs. Charleston Southern 8 p.m. Comcast SportsNet
Tue, Nov. 17 vs. Fairfield 8.p.m. CSN
Fri, Nov. 20 vs. New Hampshire 8 p.m.
Mon, Nov. 23 at Chaminade (Maui Invitational) 9:30 p.m. ESPNU
Tue, Nov. 24 vs. Cincinnati/Vanderbilt (Maui Invitational) 1:30/7:30 p.m.
Wed, Nov. 25 (Maui Invitational)
Tue, Dec. 1 at Indiana (ACC/Big Ten Challenge) 7:30 p.m. ESPN2
Sun, Dec. 6 vs. Villanova (BB&T Classic at Verizon Center) 7:30 p.m. MASN
Sat, Dec. 12 vs. Eastern Kentucky 4:30 p.m. CSN
Tue, Dec. 22 vs. Winston-Salem State 8 p.m.
Sun, Dec. 27 vs. Florida Atlantic 2 p.m.
Wed, Dec. 30 vs. William & Mary 7:30 p.m. CSN
Sun, Jan. 3 at UNC Greensboro 2 p.m.
Sun, Jan. 10 vs. Florida State 5:30 p.m. FSN
Tue, Jan. 12 at Wake Forest 8 p.m. Raycom
Sat, Jan. 16 at Boston College 4 p.m. Raycom
Tue, Jan. 19 vs. Longwood 8 p.m.
Sat, Jan. 23 vs. N.C. State 5 or 6 p.m. ESPN2
Thurs, Jan. 28 vs. Miami 9 p.m. ESPNU
Sun, Jan. 31 at Clemson 5:30 p.m. FSN
Thurs, Feb. 4 at Florida State 9 p.m. Raycom
Sun, Feb. 7 vs. North Carolina 2 p.m. FSN
Wed, Feb. 10 vs. Virginia 7 p.m. RSN
Sat, Feb. 13 at Duke 1 p.m. CBS
Wed, Feb. 17 at N.C. State 9 p.m. RSN
Sat, Feb. 20 vs. Georgia Tech 2 p.m. Raycom
Wed, Feb. 24 vs. Clemson 9 p.m. Raycom
Sat, Feb. 27 at Virginia Tech 4 p.m. Raycom
Wed, March 3 vs. Duke 9 p.m. ESPN
Sat, March 6 at Virginia 1:30 p.m. Raycom
March 11-14 ACC tournament (Greensboro, N.C.)
Let’s break it down by out-of-conference, in-conference, and rivalry games.
Out of Conference
Notice the lack of local mid-major threats on the Terrapins' early out-of-conference slate. None of the legitimate local mid-majors, (American, Morgan State, UMBC, VCU) that could actually threaten to win an NCAA tournament game are anywhere near College Park this year. Instead, they bring in Winston-Salem State and William and Mary; two of the worst squads in the MEAC and Colonial last season.
Fortunately, the Terps draw favorable matchups in their games against power conference competition. They can beat Cincinnati in the Maui Invitational, but will likely find a way to lose. They can beat Indiana in the ACC/Big Ten challenge, despite being on the road, and they can run with Villanova in the BB&T Classic. Keyword: run.
The Terps have scheduled as best as they could to be respectable in the eyes of poll voters, but immune to potential upsets.
You would think with a veteran back court in seniors Greivis Vasquez and Eric Hayes, and an undersized but athletic front court, featuring Jerome Burney and Dino Gregory, the Terps would be doomed for a repeat of 2008. But the Terps’ depth will be the key to any success. Sean Mosley, Cliff Tucker, and Adrian Bowie will be the pieces that make the Terps a more athletic version of the Duke Blue Devils; score or die.
Half of the Terrapins’ first 10 conference games are at the Comcast Center, and three of those games are against squads that didn’t qualify for the 2008 ACC Tournament. If they take FSU at home, the two losses against Wake Forest and Boston College won’t seem so bad when they are poised for a three-game streak beginning with Longwood at home and rounding out with NC State and Miami.
Can’t determine the talent or stability of Clemson yet, but Virginia and Georgia Tech are wins at home or on the road.
Short and sweet—the Terps will blast Duke at home, win close in Durham, and get pummeled by North Carolina in the split.
If you are a Terps fan, you should be scared of the team’s lack of size but encouraged by their perimeter versatility. Barring injury or complete meltdown, the Terps will finish fourth in the conference behind North Carolina, Duke, and Boston College.