ACC/Big Ten Challenged Announced, Maryland Draws Penn State

Well, we know the entire slate for the ACC-Big Ten Challenge now after Jeff Goodman leaked a few early matchups. Maryland's opponent in the annual conference showdown? Penn State. Sweet. Kinda.

Maryland and Penn State have an unofficial rivalry of sorts; the two haven't played in either revenue sport since 1993 (a 70-7 Penn State victory). Maryland has only defeated the Nittany Lions once on the football field and lost the only matchup on the court for a combined record of 1-36-1 actually, they've played 15 times and MD won 8; however, they've only played once in the Gary era and that was a loss. There's a subtle level of hatred between the schools, but on it's more prominent Maryland's side, considering the record. It's not on the level of Duke-UNC, but it's safe to say the two teams aren't fans of the other.

Luckily, Maryland will have their chance to (slightly) improve that record; they'll travel to Penn State and play on Wednesday, December 1. It's a good thing the rivalry is present, because there's not much more to make this appealing.

The Nittany Lions were one of the worst teams in the Big Ten last year and barely snuck in the KenPom top 100. They had no top 100 wins and were just 11-20. For all the fans who hoped that this year there could've been a slight RPI boost (think Michigan two years ago), that's a bit of a downer.

That said, they should be a better team next year. Starting PG Talor Battle returns, which means that one of the freshmen might get a tough matchup early; Battle's one of the better point guards in the Big Ten and averaged 18 points per game last year. He'll make a few AA lists. No other player will graduate from the team, so there's a lot of continuity from last year. That usually equates to a better team.

Considering Maryland's potential status (either surprisingly good or...well, not so great) it'll be an interesting game to watch. For what it's worth, Penn State was one of the worst rebounding teams in the country last year (yay!).

Oh, and they have Taran Buie, a former major Maryland recruiting target for the 2010 cycle. Use that information as you see fit.

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