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Tennessee Headed Back To New York For Premier Non Conference Matchup

Tennessee basketball will face Maryland at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Dec. 11, Stadium’s Jeff Goodman first reported Wednesday night.

The matchup is part of a four-game event — the Hall of Fame Invitational — set to take place on the second Sunday in December.

Umass vs. Hofstra, Iona vs. St. Bonaventure and Oklahoma State vs. Virginia Tech are the other three matchups. While the order of games hasn’t been announced, it reasons that the two matchups with smaller, local programs, will lead off the day while Tennessee versus northeastern traditional power Maryland will be the night cap.

Maryland is led by first year head coach Kevin Willard. The former Seton Hall head coach led the Pirates to the NCAA Tournament five times in 12 years will all five appearances coming in the final seven years of his tenure.

Willard takes over a Maryland program with more traditional success and a similar run of recent success to his own at Seton Hall. Willard replaces Mark Turgeon, who led the Terrapins to five NCAA Tournaments and one Sweet 16 appearance in 11 years in College Park.

Turgeon resigned just eight games into the 2021-22 season a year after taking Maryland to the Round of 32. Between Turgeon and interim coach Danny Manning, Maryland went 15-17 a year ago and are looking for a bounce back season.

Tennessee adds the neutral site matchup with Maryland to an already strong none conference slate. The Vols scheduled matchups versus Colorado in Nashville and Arizona in Tucson as well as a three-game slat at the Battle4Atlantis.

While the tournament bracket hasn’t been released, BYU, USC, Butler, North Carolina State, Dayton, Wisconsin and Kansas round out the event.

Tennessee will likely compete in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge as it has every year of the Rick Barnes.

Tennessee enters Barnes’ eighth season as one of the top teams in the SEC following a 27-8 (14-4 SEC) 2021-22 season. The Vols finished second in the SEC during the regular season before winning the SEC Tournament.

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