I won't be sold on the Terps until I see them in action. I think that they will be able to build on the ACC title last year and maybe push to the Final Four with the breaks.
Our non-conference schedule is intersting; neutral site against Memphis, at Wisconsin, George Mason, and Temple. In conferene, we only play Virginia, Wake and Carolina once. So the schedule breaks for us too...
If Providence is ever going to make a run at the top again, this is the last chance before the tough Conference USA teams join the Big East. Gomes is back, and he should be First Team All-America and a Player of the Year candidate. If McGrath can keep his underaged self out of the bars and not slap around his girlfriend again, he should do okay. If they get through the first 2 rounds of the pre-season NIT, Providence could have an extremely difficult early schedule, with Wake lined up for the NIT semis the night before Thanksgiving, the NIT Finals/Consolation the night after Thanksgiving, and then Florida in Miami the next night. Could be a great 3 days that puts Providence in the top 5, or could kill them. Should fight Syracuse and UCONN for a top 3 spot in the Big East, and hopefully Gomes puts the team on his back before he rides off into the sunset and we drop into the abyss.
I'd say it breaks down like this: at the beginning of the season, everybody has 82 games to play, to set whatever records they want to set. They'll always play 82 games, unless the number of games changes.