Vols Traveling to Face TCU in SEC/Big 12 Challenge

ESPN announced Thursday that Tennessee will travel to face TCU in this year’s Big 12/SEC Challenge Jan. 30, in Fort Worth, Texas.

New Vols head coach Rick Barnes is no stranger to Big 12 hoops or games contested in the Lone Star State, as he spent the past 17 seasons guiding the Texas Longhorns to the most successful era in its hardwood history. His teams are 8-0 all-time against TCU, which joined the Big 12 in 2012-13.

Led by former LSU head coach Trent Johnson, who is entering his fourth year leading the Horned Frogs, TCU posted an 18-15 (4-14 Big 12) record last season.

The Frogs lost their top two scorers from last year’s squad, but rising junior forward Kenrich Williams scored in double figures 15 times in 2014-15 while averaging 8.6 points and 6.7 rebounds per game.

Tennessee owns an 11-16 all-time record against current members of the Big 12 Conference, including an 0-1 mark against TCU. In the only previous meeting between the programs, the Vols suffered a 73-59 defeat at the 1991 San Juan Shootout in Puerto Rico.

This season marks the third year of the Big 12/SEC Challenge. The SEC went 3-7 in the inaugural challenge in 2013 (UT did not participate). Last year, the Vols defeated Kansas State in Knoxville as the SEC posted a 4-6 mark in the second annual event.

The first two years of the challenge were played over several days in November and December but the 2016 event will be consolidated to one single day in January. A bye in the league schedule for participating teams was created to accommodate the new format.

Four SEC teams are inactive in each year’s challenge, as the SEC has 14 teams but the Big 12 has only 10. The four SEC teams not participating will play each other in conference games the same day.

Eight of the 10 games will be televised on ESPN or ESPN2, and two games will air on ESPNU. All 10 games will also be available via WatchESPN. ESPN’s College GameDay Covered by State Farm-the Saturday morning and evening roadshow that discusses the top storylines of the college basketball season-will originate from one of the Challenge games, to be announced at a later date.

"The ability to showcase SEC basketball in this kind of inter-conference competition makes this a unique and exciting event for our coaches, student-athletes and fans," SEC Commissioner Mike Slive said.

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

Big 12/SEC Challenge presented by Sonic – Jan. 30, 2016
Texas Tech at Arkansas
Oklahoma State at Auburn
West Virginia at Florida
Georgia at Baylor
Kentucky at Kansas
Oklahoma at LSU
Ole Miss at Kansas State
Tennessee at TCU
Iowa State at Texas A&M
Vanderbilt at Texas


Categories: College, Sports, Sports – Local Sports News, Sports – UT Vols

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