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Maryland basketball will host Butler in 2017 Gavitt Games

The Terps will face a tough early-season test.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-First Round-Maryland vs Xavier Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Maryland basketball will host Butler as part of the third annual Gavitt Games. The Terps will face the Bulldogs at the Xfinity Center as part of the tip-off series on Nov. 15, CBS Sports’ Jon Rothstein reported Saturday.

The eight-game series between the Big Ten and Big East conferences was started in 2015 in the name of Dave Gavitt, visionary founder of the Big East. The series has ended in a tie both years, but Maryland has won both of its matchups.

The Terps matched up with Beltway rival Georgetown in both prior Gavitt Games. They won the inaugural matchup 75-71 in College Park in November 2015, and a furious comeback at the Verizon Center saw Maryland ride home with a 76-75 victory last season. It had been previously speculated that the Terps and Hoyas won’t renew their rivalry this season, though the teams have yet to confirm.

Instead of a third Georgetown game, Maryland will match up against a Butler team that went 25-9 last season, making it to the Sweet 16 before losing to eventual champion North Carolina. The Bulldogs are losing six seniors, including second-leading scorer Andrew Chrabascz and three others who played solid minutes.

Leading scorer Kelan Martin will return for his senior season, having averaged 16 points and 5.8 rebounds a night last year. He’s joined by guard Kamar Baldwin, who finished his first campaign with averages of 10.1 points, 3.7 rebounds, 1.7 assists, and 1.7 steals. Butler also has a five-player recruiting class coming in, ranked 32nd in the nation by the 247Sports Composite.

Some other Gavitt Game matchups to keep an eye on are Creighton at Northwestern, also on Nov. 15, and Xavier at Wisconsin on Nov. 16. Xavier knocked Maryland out of the NCAA Tournament en route to the program’s first Elite Eight in a decade, and will face a perennial Big Ten contender in the Badgers.