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Pitt to face Maryland in ACC/Big Ten Challenge

Pitt will reportedly face Maryland in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Jon Rothstein is reporting that Pitt's ACC/Big Ten Challenge opponent will be Maryland, and that game will take place in College Park this upcoming season. An official announcement with a date, time, and TV listing will likely follow in the coming days. The ACC/Big Ten games are generally weeknight prime time games in early December on the ESPN family of networks.  Pitt is 1-2 all-time in the challenge, following a 72-59 loss to Purdue this past season at the Petersen Events Center. They also have a loss to Indiana in 2014, and a win over Penn State in 2013.

Pitt and Maryland overlapped one season in the ACC, and met twice in the regular season that year. Pitt won the first meeting in their inaugural ACC game 79-59 at the Petersen Events Center, and followed that up a few weeks later with an 83-79 win in College Park led by a memorable 28 point output by Lamar Patterson.

Maryland is an attractive opponent for Pitt for several reasons. The Terrapins were a consistent presence in the top 25 the past season, and should be a good challenge for Pitt and will help the overall RPI and strength of schedule. There is also the fact that new head coach, Kevin Stallings, has been emphasizing the DMV area in recruiting, and this game gives Pitt a chance to have some visibility in their new recruiting ground.  Also, there is the idea that these two schools could have developed a rivalry had Maryland stuck in the ACC. I even wrote about the potential of that after the school's last meeting with one another. I think it all adds up for an intriguing non-conference game, at least on the Pitt side of things.

Pitt's non-conference schedule is starting to take shape, and should be released in full sometime this Summer. We have heard recently about the date with Penn State that will take place in New Jersey. There is also a 2 game set at Madison Square Garden as a part of the 2K Sports Classic. Pitt will also renew the annual CIty Game with Duquesne at the Consol Energy Center. There is also reports by Rothstein that Yale will be visiting the Petersen Events Center after their brief Cinderella run in the NCAA Tournament this past season. Overall, it's an intriguing and challenging slate of games.

Maryland will be going through some serious turnover and change this season after a Sweet 16 appearance. Many of the Terrapins will be either graduating or leaving early for the NBA, including star point guard Melo Trimble.  His status is still not finalized, but he will likely remain in the draft. Still Mark Turgeon has recruited well and will welcome three four-star players into the fold this season, as well as coveted Duquesne transfer, LG Gill.

Pitt, on the other hand, will be going through a a different kind of change. Longtime coach Jamie Dixon is out, and Kevin Stallings is in charge.  Even with the coaching change, Pitt returns six of their top seven scorers off a team that advanced to the NCAA Tournament last season. The Panthers will be led by a pair of senior forward, Michael Young (15.7 PPG) and Jamel Artis (14.4 PPG).