Maryland released its 2015-16 non-conference basketball schedule Tuesday afternoon. You can see that here. But let's parse it a bit. Here are what look to be the Top 3 matchups:
3) Wednesday, Nov. 25 vs. Rhode Island (Cancun Classic, if applicable)
A few things. First, Rhode Island and Maryland would need to win for this matchup to take place in Cancun. If not, TCU could be the opponent. Secondly, yes, Connecticut is also on the schedule and that should be a solid matchup at Madison Square Garden in December.
But let's give the mid-majors some love here.
Rhode Island coach Dan Hurley fielded interest throughout the offseason from high-major programs, but decided to stay in Kingston -- and for good reason. His team's roster is loaded.
E.C. Matthews is an NBA-caliber guard. Hassan Martin is a double-double threat every night. Jared Terrell was an Oklahoma State commit before flipping to Rhody. Memphis transfer and former five-star recruit Kuran Iverson was ruled eligible by the NCAA earlier this year so he is scheduled to be on the court in the fall.
Many will pick the Rams to win the Atlantic 10 and they should give Maryland a tough run if they meet in Cancun.
2) Tuesday, Dec. 1 vs. North Carolina (ACC/Big Ten Challenge)
How could a matchup between the possible No. 1 and No. 2 teams in the country be the second best game of the non-conference? History. But we'll get to that in a minute.
The Tar Heels bring back a lot of firepower. Marcus Paige will be a National Player of the Year candidate. Kennedy Meeks is an outlet-passing wizard. Brice Johnson and Isaiah Hicks help to solidify the front line.
It might feel weird calling this a non-conference game, but it could be one of the great ones (in the country) in the early part of the season.
1) Tuesday, Nov. 17 vs. Georgetown (Gavitt Games)
Forty-two years will have passed since the last time the Hoyas traveled to College Park when Maryland faces Georgetown on Nov. 17.
The Gavitt Games, which pairs Big Ten teams against Big East teams, paved the way for the matchup. With Maryland poised to start the season in the Top 5 and Georgetown in the mix for a conference title, it really couldn't have come at a better time.
National attention will be focused on the game at what should be a rocking XFINITY Center.