The SEC/Big 12 Challenge (or Big 12/SEC Challenge, if we're keeping score) is back, and the conferences have arranged for an impressive 10-game slate for the first week of December.
The SEC will look to bounce back after taking a 7-3 loss in the first challenge; only Florida, Alabama and Missouri notched victories in 2013. It was in this challenge last season when Baylor overcame a nine-point second half deficit to hand Kentucky its second loss of the season.
A few headliners from this season's challenge that you won't want to miss:
Texas at Kentucky : The hype for this game is raised yet another level thanks to Texas securing the commitment of Myles Turner last week. The Longhorns will likely be underdogs on the road against the Wildcats, our preseason No. 1 for 2014-15, but Texas could be a Top 10 team themselves when this game is played -- Rick Barnes' squad checks in at No. 9 on our preseason rankings. Texas returns everybody and Kentucky brings back more players than anyone thought. The result? Must-see basketball in early December.
Florida at Kansas : The Jayhawks and Gators are ranked No. 5 and No. 6, respectively, and this high-profile matchup has the feeling of an early-season classic; the type that we will revisit when both teams are competing for top seeds down the stretch of the regular season. Because Chris Walker sat out for most of Florida's impressive 2013-14 campaign, we didn't get to see him play against many other dominant bigs. There is talent all over the floor, but the spotlight matchup will be Walker vs. Cliff Alexander, Kansas' star freshman forward.
Arkansas at Iowa State : The Cyclones are ranked No. 15 on the Top 25 (and one) thanks to the return of George Niang, Dustin Hogue, and the arrival of UNLV transfer Bryce Dejean-Jones. But they could be caught off-guard by Arkansas, particularly after watching Mike Anderson's squad beat Kentucky twice before falling just short of the NCAA Tournament in 2013-14.
Check out the full schedule of games below. Tip-off times and television information will be released at a later date.
Wednesday, December 3, 2014
Thursday, December 4, 2014
Arkansas at Iowa State
Friday, December 5, 2014
Florida at Kansas
Texas at Kentucky
Saturday, December 6, 2014