By Brad Locke/NEMS Daily Journal
A couple of leagues seeking to boost their basketball reputations are teaming up for a yearly event.
The Big 12/SEC Challenge will begin this coming season, with 10 matchups scheduled, including Ole Miss at Kansas State and TCU at Mississippi State on Dec. 5.
With the Big 12 having only 10 teams these days, four SEC teams will not participate this season.
This event replaces the annual SEC/Big East Challenge, which dissolved when the Big East broke apart this year.
Last season, the Big 12 put five teams in the NCAA tournament, while the SEC had three berths.
Ole Miss and Kansas State were both NCAA teams last year. The Rebels, as a No. 12 seed, reached the second round and lost to LaSalle, which had upset fourth-seeded Kansas State in the first round.
Other notable matchups include West Virginia at Missouri (Dec. 5), Kentucky versus Baylor (Dec. 6 in Arlington, Texas) and Kansas at Florida (Dec. 10).
MSU and TCU were both cellar dwellers last season under first-year coaches. The Bulldogs were 10-22 (4-14 SEC) with Rick Ray at the helm, while TCU went 11-21 (2-16 Big 12) under Trent Johnson, who had previously been head coach at LSU.
This will be the third meeting all-time between the schools. They split games in 1989 and ’90.
Ole Miss and KSU met three times between 2001 and ’10, with the Rebels winning each time.
All 10 Big 12/SEC Challenge games will be televised on the ESPN networks.
BIG 12/SEC CHALLENGE
NOV. 14: Texas Tech at Alabama
DEC. 2: Vanderbilt at Texas;
Auburn at Iowa State
DEC. 5: Ole Miss at Kansas
State; West Virginia at Missouri;
TCU at Mississippi State
DEC. 6: South Carolina at Oklahoma
State; Kentucky vs. Baylor
DEC. 10: Kansas at Florida
DEC. 21: Oklahoma vs. Texas