The college basketball season is heating up and this weekend, two conferences will take a break from their respective league schedules to wage war against each other. The 10th annual Big 12-SEC Challenge will take place on Saturday as 10 schools from each league will do battle.
Copying the mold of the ACC-Big Ten Challenge, the Big 12-SEC Challenge came into existence during the 2013-14 season. All 10 teams from the Big 12 participates annually while the 14-team SEC leaves four programs out of the challenge every year. The Big 12 has historically had the upper hand in this challenge, owning a 4-3-2 series record and a 48-41 overall record. However, the SEC is closing the gap and has won the last two challenges.
No. 9 Kansas vs. Kentucky
The two standing blue bloods of their respective conferences will meet for the 35th time with Kansas heading to Rupp Arena to meet Kentucky.
The Jayhawks are in need of a pick-me-up after losing three straight matchups in Big 12 play. A Quad 1 road victory could be what the doctor ordered for the defending national champions. Meanwhile, things were getting a bit dicey for John Calipari and his Wildcats earlier in the month before ripping off four straight victories. While they’re starting to trend back off the NCAA Tournament bubble, a home victory over Kansas would make a huge statement.
No. 10 Texas vs. No. 4 Tennessee
The most anticipated game of this year’s Big 12-SEC Challenge is the Rick Barnes Invitational as Barnes and No. 4 Tennessee will host his former program in No. 10 Texas.
Texas has managed to maintain its spot near the top of the Big 12 standings and has impressively done so in the aftermath of Chris Beard’s firing earlier in the month. The Longhorns have won two straight and could potentially vault back into the top five of the AP poll with a road victory in Knoxville. Meanwhile, Tennessee is cruising right along through SEC play and have done so with the nation’s top defense in adjusted efficiency. The Volunteers are being talked about as a potential No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament and a win here could help their case.
Schedule for 2023 Big 12/SEC Challenge
No. 15 Auburn vs. West Virginia, noon ET, ESPN
Final: WVU 80, Auburn 77
No. 2 Alabama vs. Oklahoma, 2 p.m. ET, ESPN
Final: Oklahoma 93, Alabama 69
No. 12 Iowa State vs. Missouri, 2 p.m. ET, ESPN2
Final: Missouri 78, Iowa State 61
Arkansas vs. Baylor, 4 p.m. ET, ESPN
Final: Baylor 67, Arkansas 64
No. 10 Texas vs. No. 4 Tennessee, 6 p.m. ET, ESPN
Final: Tennessee 82, Texas 71
Florida vs. No. 5 Kansas State, 6 p.m. ET, ESPN2
Final: Kansas State 64, Florida 50
No. 9 Kansas vs. Kentucky, 8 p.m. ET, ESPN
Final: Kansas 77, Kentucky 68