Christmas Day game highlights Maryland basketball Big Ten schedule

Ryan Wormeli
·2 min read

Christmas Day game highlights Maryland basketball schedule originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

With less than a week until nonconference games tip off, the Maryland men's basketball program finally knows who it will be playing for the Big Ten portion of the 2020-21 schedule.

The conference announced its schedule early Wednesday evening after a long delay, stemming from uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus and its impact on college basketball as a whole.

Maryland will kick off its conference schedule on December 14 against Rutgers before traveling to Purdue for one of four Big Ten games on Christmas Day. This is a rarity for Maryland, which usually has a break over the holidays before restarting conference play in the final days of December. According to the team's release, it's their first game on Christmas since 1984.

The Terps have a difficult gauntlet ahead of them in a conference expected to be the nation's best this season. Seven of the league's 14 teams are ranked in the Top 25 to begin the season, and Maryland will have to play six of them on the road. Illinois is the lone exception - they'll be coming to College Park on January 10.

Mark Turgeon's squad will also host Wisconsin and Michigan at the Xfinity Center this season. Their matchups with Iowa, Michigan State and Ohio State - all ranked teams to start the year - will all be on the road only.

This is an important season for a Maryland team looking for new starpower after losing Anthony Cowan and Jalen Smith from last year's conference-winning roster. With a tough schedule like this one, it won't be an easy task.