Tennessee hosts Texas for SEC/Big 12 Challenge

UNDATED (WDEF) — The details for next year’s SEC/Big 12 basketball Challenge were announced Thursday with a Tennessee-Texas rematch headlining the schedule.

Vols head coach Rick Barnes will face his former team a second straight year after falling to the Longhorns by one point in January.

Kansas and Kentucky also go head-to-head. All games will be played on January 28, 2023 with times to be set by ESPN at a later date.

Alabama at Oklahoma
Arkansas at Baylor
Auburn at West Virginia
Florida at Kansas State
Kansas at Kentucky
Texas Tech at LSU
Ole Miss at Oklahoma State
TCU at Mississippi State
Iowa State at Missouri
Texas at Tennessee

Also of note, Alabama will play Gonzaga in the C.M. Newton Classic in Birmingham Dec. 17. This will be a homecoming of sorts for former Chattanooga Mocs point guard and Southern Conference Player of the Year Malachi Smith, who transferred from Chattanooga to the Zags.

Full release from Tennessee Athletics about the UTx2 match-up:

Matchups for the 10th annual SEC/Big 12 Challenge were announced Thursday, and Tennessee is set to host Texas at Thompson-Boling Arena on Jan. 28, 2023.

Season tickets went on sale earlier this week and can be purchased HERE.

The Volunteers traveled to Austin, Texas, to face the Longhorns as part of last season’s challenge, with Texas holding on for a one-point victory in a low-scoring affair, 52-51.

Tennessee head coach Rick Barnes—who is entering his eighth season at the original UT—spent 17 seasons leading the Longhorns program before transitioning to Rocky Top. A member of the Longhorn Hall of Honor, Barnes guided Texas to more than 400 wins, four Big 12 Championships, 16 NCAA Tournament berths and the program’s lone Final Four appearance in the modern era in 2003.

The Vols and Longhorns have met seven times previously on the hardwood, with Texas holding a 4-3 advantage. The programs collided for four consecutive seasons from 2004-05 to 2007-08, with each team winning twice.

Tennessee is a perfect 2-0 against Texas in Knoxville, with home triumphs in 1952 and 2006. The 2006 showdown was a thriller, highlighted by a deep and unforgettable Chris Lofton 3-pointer over Kevin Durant to give the Vols their first lead of the second half. Lofton finished with 35 points and 11 rebounds to power Tennessee to the 111-105 win. Durant led the Longhorns with 26 points.

Tennessee’s all-time record against current members of the Big 12 stands at 15-21. Barnes owns a 161-98 record against current Big 12 teams.

Texas, along with Oklahoma, is set to join the SEC in 2025.

The Vols are 5-3 all-time in the challenge. That includes a 4-0 record at Thompson-Boling Arena.

All 10 of the Big 12’s teams and 10 of the SEC’s 14 member institutions will participate in the event. Each of the 10 SEC teams that participated in the 2022 Challenge will be a part of the 2023 event.

The SEC won the ninth annual Big 12/SEC Challenge by winning six of the 10 games on Jan. 29, 2022. It was the second year in a row the SEC won the challenge. The SEC has lost the challenge just one time in the last six years.

This will be the eighth year that a bye in the league schedule for participating SEC teams was created to accommodate the single-day format. The first two years of the challenge were played over several days in November and December, but the last eight events have been consolidated to one single day in January. ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU will combine to televise the contests.

Tipoff times and network designations will be announced at a later date.

The University of Tennessee was founded as Blount College in 1794, and Tennessee became a state in 1796. The gallant actions of a bevy of brave Tennessee Volunteers that included David Crockett and Sam Houston led to the annexation and eventual statehood of Texas more than 50 years later.

Tennessee in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge
Dec. 6, 2014 – defeated Kansas State, 65-64
Jan. 30, 2016 – lost at TCU, 75-63
Jan. 28, 2017 – defeated Kansas State, 70-58
Jan. 27, 2018 – defeated Iowa State, 68-45
Jan. 26, 2019 – defeated West Virginia, 83-66
Jan. 25, 2020 – lost at No. 3 Kansas, 74-68
Jan. 30, 2021 – defeated No. 15 Kansas, 80-61
Jan. 29, 2022 – lost at Texas, 52-51

Categories: Sports, Sports – Alabama Crimson Tide, Sports – Local Sports News, Sports – UT Vols, Sports – UTC Mocs