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Maryland men's basketball schedule 2015-16: Terps start Big Ten play vs. Penn State

The Terps are going to be good, but so is their Big Ten schedule.

Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Maryland's 2015 Big Ten basketball schedule tips off against Penn State on Dec. 30 Xfinity Center and concludes with a road game against Indiana in early March, the league announced Thursday evening.

The Terrapins play national runner-up Wisconsin twice, two weeks apart, on Saturdays in February. Their visit to Michigan State, where they won their first Big Ten game ever last year, comes Jan. 23, also a Saturday.

Maryland will enter its second Big Ten season as the league's odds-on favorite, but conference play will bring challenges anyway. League opponents Michigan State, Indiana and Purdue all figure to be ranked at the start of the season. Last year's season and tournament champion, Wisconsin, lost national player of the year Frank Kaminsky, tournament star Sam Dekker and others, but Bo Ryan's team still figures to compete. Tournament teams Iowa and Ohio State should be sturdy again, and even longtime doormat Northwestern is primed for serious growth. John Beilein's Michigan will definitely get back into postseason play, and there aren't many easy games here, anywhere.

The Terps should ring up a high win total, but their Big Ten slate is relatively hard.

Of the league's 14 teams, Maryland faces five of them twice: Michigan, Wisconsin, Northwestern, Ohio State and Purdue. Each of those is likely to qualify for the NCAA Tournament, and all could reasonably be favored against the Terrapins when Maryland is the road team. The Terps' only games against Indiana and Michigan State – perhaps their two biggest adversaries for the league title – come on the road. Their home-only opponents include Penn State, Rutgers and Illinois – teams Maryland should handle on any court next year.

Maryland's out-of-conference schedule, which was already public, includes a home date with Georgetown on Nov. 17 and a visit to probably-top-ranked North Carolina on Dec. 1.