This weekend is the Big 12 vs SEC Challenge. Ten games between the two conferences will air on on of the ESPN Networks on Saturday giving hoops fans plenty of intriguing games to watch. This time of the year, college basketball is deep into their conference schedules, which is a lot of fun. But this break in the conference schedule matching up teams from two power conferences is a great idea. There are teams that could make a great case for their NCAA Tournament resumes with a good non-conference win here such as Florida and LSU. There will be games that could go a long way towards getting someone a top seed in the Big Dance as well, such as Kentucky at Kansas and Iowa State at Texas A&M.
In the marquee games, we have Kentucky at Kansas, which is a battle of two of the elite programs in college basketball. The game will take place at Allen Fieldhouse, which is one of the iconic venues in the game. The “Rock Chalk Jayhawk” chant will be loud all game long. This will air at 7:00EST and will be one any college basketball fan does not want to miss.
Before that one comes on, you can get another great game when #1 ranked Oklahoma travels to Baton Rouge to take on freshman sensation Ben Simmons and the LSU Tigers. With OU’s Buddy Hield on the court with Simmons, fans can watch two of the NBA Lottery picks go against each other.
Those are the two big games, but there are two or three other great games on the schedule in this event. At noon, we have West Virginia at Florida. Tickets for this game on sites such as Stub Hub and Rukkus are going for triple the amount tickets for the Kentucky at Florida game. That should tell fans how huge this event is already. The Gators can just about punch their ticket to the NCAA Tournament with a win in this game.
Another game we won’t want to miss is the Iowa State at Texas A&M game. Texas A&M is ranked #5 and the Cyclones come in at #14. Texas A&M is a recent member of the Big 12, so the Cyclones should be familiar with this rivalry, if not the players at least the fans.
Vanderbilt will travel to Texas to take on the Longhorns while the Georgia Bulldogs will go to Waco to take on Baylor. It will be a big day of college hoops in the state of Texas.
The Big and ACC started this several years ago when they played their first challenge series. It has become one of the great events of the early season every year. The Big 12 and SEC were hoping to create a similar event, but it did not create much buzz when played in December the last couple of years. Moving it to late January was a stroke of genius. Why didn’t anyone think of this before?