The Maryland women's basketball team announced its 2017-18 schedule Wednesday. The slate is highlighted by games against defending national champion South Carolina and Final Four team Connecticut, as well as a home game against Big Ten rival Ohio State.
After opening the season at home against Albany on Nov. 10, the Terps will host the Gamecocks on Nov. 13.
Six days later, Maryland will visit Connecticut, completing the home-and-home started last year when the Huskies beat the Terps, 87-81, in College Park. Connecticut's record-breaking 111-game win streak was snapped by Mississippi State in the Final Four.
Maryland will play two games in the Miami Thanksgiving Tournament, a trip that gives senior Ieshia Small a chance to play in her hometown.
Then, after a road game against Virginia for the Big Ten/ACC Challenge, coach Brenda Frese's team will travel to Akron on Dec. 2 for a game against the Zips that will bring senior Kristen Confroy, a Solon, Ohio, native, close to home.
Maryland closes its nonconference schedule with home games against Mount St. Mary's, George Washington and Loyola.
Last year, the Terps' weak schedule, especially in nonconference play, received scrutiny from some pundits and the NCAA Selection Committee. Despite a 30-2 regular-season record, Maryland was a No. 3-seed in Connecticut's region of the bracket.
This year's nonconference slate is somewhat tougher. Last year's 13 non-conference opponents finished the season with an average RPI of 188. This year's opponents, if Maryland plays Miami in the second game of the Thanksgiving tournament, had an average RPI of 160.
After playing three top-100 nonconference teams last year, the Terps will play either four or five — UConn, South Carolina, Virginia, George Washington and potentially Miami — this year.
Maryland's Big Ten schedule kicks off Dec. 28 versus Illinois and continues at Penn State on New Year's Eve. The Terps host Iowa and visit Wisconsin before playing three straight games at home, welcoming Michigan State, Indiana and Ohio State to Xfinity Center. The Buckeyes own a three-game win streak over the Terps spanning the past two seasons and shared the Big Ten regular season championship with Maryland last year.
Maryland plays Ohio State once this year while they double up against Michigan State, Rutgers and Nebraska. After traveling to Michigan on Feb. 22, the Terps close the season Feb. 25 at home against Nebraska.