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Tennessee Athletics photo / Josiah-Jordan James and Tennessee came up just short at Texas earlier this year at the Big 12/SEC Challenge. The Volunteers and Longhorns will meet again in the event early next year in Knoxville.

The "Battle of the UTs" in the Big 12/SEC Challenge will have a sequel.

Tennessee and Texas will meet for a second straight year in the 10th annual men's basketball competition between the two conferences. The Longhorns won last season's game 52-51 in Austin, which served as a reunion for Volunteers coach Rick Barnes, who guided the Longhorns to 16 NCAA tournament trips in 17 seasons from 1998 to 2015.

Josiah-Jordan James missed an open 3-point attempt as time expired.

"I think it was the shot that we wanted," James said afterward. "We take that shot 10 times out of 10, but I just didn't make it."

The Vols would impressively recover to win 13 of their next 14 contests before losing to Michigan in the NCAA tournament's second round. The Tennessee-Texas rematch in Thompson-Boling Arena is set for Jan. 28, 2023.

Tennessee has a 5-3 record in the Big 12/SEC Challenge, which includes a 4-0 mark in Knoxville. The Vols hosted Kansas in 2021 and throttled the visiting Jayhawks 80-61.

Among the other matchups announced Thursday were Alabama at Oklahoma, Arkansas at Baylor, Auburn at West Virginia and Kansas at Kentucky. Starting times and network designations will be announced at a later date.

The SEC claimed the ninth Big 12/SEC Challenge earlier this year by winning six of the 10 matchups. SEC teams are 31-28 the past six years in the event but still trail 48-41 due to the Big 12 building a 20-10 advantage during the first three years of the 10-game extravaganza.

 

Dangerous indeed

The College World Series starts Friday afternoon at 2 with Oklahoma facing Texas A&M and continues Friday night at 7 with Notre Dame challenging Texas.

Entering last week's super regional at Tennessee, the NCAA tournament's top overall seed, Notre Dame left fielder Ryan Cole said of the Vols: "If I were them, I would be a little scared. I think we're a very dangerous team."

The Fighting Irish wound up winning that best-of-three series with Sunday's 7-3 upset, and Cole was asked Thursday in Omaha, Nebraska, about those comments.

"To begin with, I think that comment might have been blown out of proportion a little bit, but it all stems from just the confidence in every single person on our team from one to 40," Cole said. "Obviously we were going in to play the best team in the country that everyone said, and we just knew that if anyone could beat them, we could, because we're experienced, have been through it, and played in a hostile environment last year (at Mississippi State).

"Really, the comment just meant that I had confidence in my team going into that and that they shouldn't take us lightly."

 

Harris picks UGA

AJ Harris on Thursday night gave Georgia its first five-star commitment for college football's 2023 signing cycle.

The 6-foot-1, 180-pounder from Phenix City, Alabama, is the nation's No. 5 cornerback prospect on the 247Sports.com composite rankings and the No. 25 prospect overall. He is the 10th commitment for the Bulldogs, who are seventh in the team standings and first among SEC teams.

Arkansas has 12 commitments and is ninth in the 247Sports rankings, while Tennessee has nine commitments and is ranked 13th.

Contact David Paschall at dpaschall@timesfreepress.com. Follow him on Twitter @DavidSPaschall.

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