Maryland basketball cracked the AP Top 25 for the first time since the 2016-2017 season on Monday. Its first opponent after getting ranked? No. 4 Virginia.
The Terps and Cavaliers will renew their former ACC rivalry on Wednesday night in primetime on ESPN, the first game of a doubleheader as a part of the ACC/Big Ten challenge. This is Maryland’s first major test of the year, coming off a 37-point home victory over Marshall on Friday. Anthony Cowan Jr. led all scorers with 26 points, Eric Ayala had a career-high 20 points and went 5-for-6 from three, and Bruno Fernando had 18 points and 16 rebounds in that win.
Both teams are 6-0 coming into Wednesday’s matchup. Virginia is coming off a 53-46 win over No. 22 Wisconsin to win the Bad Boy Mowers Battle 4 Atlantis tournament on Friday. The Cavaliers had their two biggest tests in Nassau, defeating Dayton 66-59 on Thursday before playing the Badgers. They are known for their stout pack-line defense, allowing 49.3 points per game and outscoring opponents by 23.9 points overall so far this year.
This is arguably Maryland’s toughest game of the season, and certainly its toughest non-conference game by far. The Terps currently have five players with 10+ points per game so far this year compared to three for Virginia, but the Cavaliers are shooting 40 percent from beyond the arc, which could sink Maryland.
Last season, Virginia was the No. 1 overall seed going into the NCAA Tournament but became the first No. 1 seed to get upset in the round of 64, losing to No. 16-seed UMBC, 74-54. They are returning four key players, including Kyle Guy and De’Andre Hunter, who is leading the team in scoring with 16.8 points per game.
No. 24 Maryland: 6-0
No. 4 Virginia 6-0
All-time series: Maryland leads 107-75
Odds: Maryland is a 3.5 point underdog
How to watch and listen
Wednesday, Nov. 28, 7:30 p.m. ET, Xfinity Center, College Park
TV: ESPN (Jon Sciambi, play-by-play; Jay Bilas, analyst)
Radio: 105.7 FM (Baltimore) / 980AM (DC), Sirius (133) / XM (193) / Streaming (955), Maryland Sports Radio Network (Johnny Holliday, Chris Knoche, Walt Williams); WMUC Sports (Justin Gallanty, Jarred Belman)
In other news
Eight Maryland football players, highlighted by linebacker Tre Watson, received All-Big Ten honors on Tuesday.
According to Football Scoop, Alabama OC and former Maryland head coach Mike Locksley is the leading candidate for Maryland’s head coaching search, but told the team that he wouldn’t interview with them until after the SEC Championship on Saturday.
Former Maryland basketball player Diamond Stone signed a contract on Monday with the Iowa Wolves of the NBA G League.
We recapped Maryland football’s crazy season here.
We also spoke with Streaking the Lawn, Virginia’s SB Nation site, ahead of tonight’s matchup here.
Finally, Maryland basketball’s Andrew Terrell, known more for his antics on the bench than on the court, is the new leader of the 2019 Club Trillion Championship (self-entry contest) with four trillion minutes and two trillion occurrences. A “trillion” is when a player does nothing on the court, recording a zero in all 12 statistical categories other than minutes.