Big Ten/ACC Challenge Expected to be Played in Early December


The NCAA announced that November 25 marks the beginning of the 2020-21 college basketball season as schools scramble to finalize a new schedule before then. Non-conference matchups won’t highlight the upcoming season like in years past, but one marquee non-conference event will continue with a new tentative date.

College basketball insider Jon Rothstein reported on Wednesday that the Big Ten/ACC challenge is “moving forward” with plans to be played on campus with a target date centered around December 8 and 9.

The Terps have just one win in the inaugural challenge since joining the Big Ten in 2014, dropping two games to Virginia and one game each to North Carolina, Pittsburgh and Syracuse. The lone win in the challenge came last season when the Terps took down Notre Dame in a 72-51 win at the Xfinity Center behind a double-double from Jalen Smith (15 points, 16 rebounds) and Eric Ayala, Aaron Wiggins and Darryl Morsell all scoring double-digits. The win helped the Big Ten come out on top of the challenge, edging the ACC 8-6 a season ago, but Maryland returns a core unit that is ready to lead the Terps.

Head coach Mark Turgeon, meanwhile, is looking forward to filling the shoes left by four-year guard Anthony Cowan as now junior Eric Ayala will be given the keys to the offense.

Eric had a great freshman year and played great against Michigan on senior day when we won the championship so Eric is a guy that can really score at that position,” Turgeon told All Terrapins earlier this month. “He’s very comfortable there but we’re going to need him to score more or look to score and be aggressive that way with the loss of Cowan.”

The NCAA announced that November 25 marks the first day of the 2020-21 college basketball season.

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