The Southeastern Conference and Big 12 Conference have partnered to stage a men's basketball challenge beginning later this year, but Tennessee and Georgia will sit out the inaugural version.
With the SEC containing 14 institutions and the Big 12 having just 10, the Volunteers and Bulldogs will join Arkansas and LSU in missing this year's games before joining the rotation. The event will be known as the Big 12/SEC Challenge this season and the SEC/Big 12 Challenge in 2014.
"The ability to showcase SEC basketball in this kind of conference competition makes this a unique and exciting event for our coaches, student-athletes and fans," SEC commissioner Mike Slive said. "We are pleased to be able to work with the Big 12 and ESPN to highlight the sport of men's basketball."
This is the second significant pact between the SEC and Big 12. The two leagues previously agreed to stage a prominent bowl game once college football adopts a four-team playoff system in 2014.
ESPN will provide exclusive coverage of this year's basketball challenge, beginning with Texas Tech's visit to Alabama on Nov. 14. The remaining nine games are scheduled for December, with the most notable showdown being Kansas at Florida on Dec. 10.
Florida won national championships to cap the 2006 and '07 seasons, and Kansas was the champion in 2008.
There will be four games at SEC sites, four games at Big 12 sites and two games at neutral sites. One of the neutral matchups is Kentucky against Baylor in Arlington, Texas, on Dec. 6.
The SEC had a six-year challenge with the Big East end this past season.
David Paschall is a sports writer for the Times Free Press. He started at the Chattanooga Free Press in 1990 and was part of the Times Free Press when the paper started in 1999. David covers University of Georgia football, as well as SEC football recruiting, SEC basketball, Chattanooga Lookouts baseball and other sports stories. He is a Chattanooga native and graduate of the Baylor School and Auburn University. David has received numerous honors for ...