Marquette, Maryland agree to college hoops home-and-home series

A pair of programs from the Big Ten and Big East have agreed to a marquee college basketball home-and-home series starting this November.

Maryland and Marquette have come to terms on a deal that will see Kevin Willard’s Terrapins host Shaka Smart’s Golden Eagles on Nov. 15 in College Park in the upcoming season, while the two schools will meet in Milwaukee in the 2025-26 campaign, sources told FOX Sports on Wednesday morning.

Both the Terrapins and Golden Eagles are ranked in the top 20 of the FOX Sports Way Too Early Top 25, with Maryland boasting 5-star big man Derik Queen along with impact returnees Julian Reese and DeShawn Harris-Smith. 

Meanwhile, Marquette is coming off the program’s first Sweet 16 appearance since 2013. The Golden Eagles will look to keep the momentum building in Smart’s third year, as they will be powered by a Big East Player of the Year candidate in Kam Jones along with Stevie Mitchell and Chase Ross on the perimeter, while Ben Gold and David Joplin try to elevate their games. 

My take: Good on Willard and Smart for getting this deal done.

With the Gavitt Games between the Big Ten and Big East being discontinued for a variety of reasons, it opens up a new scheduling opportunity in the second week of the season, where quality matchups are needed to fill the void. 

This showdown between two schools with rich traditions should be an early season treat to watch, and it does offer Willard an early home opportunity to add a move-the-needle result to his résumé in a big third year for the Maryland head coach. 

For Smart and the Golden Eagles, going into the XFINITY Center is a tall ask, but a win would be an early season game-changer for the program. It’s a no-lose scenario for them, and the latest example that scheduling tougher does carry benefits.

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John Fanta is a national college basketball broadcaster and writer for FOX Sports. He covers the sport in a variety of capacities, from calling games on FS1 to serving as lead host on the BIG EAST Digital Network to providing commentary on The Field of 68 Media Network. Follow him on Twitter @John_Fanta.

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