Hopefully, Big 12/SEC Challenge will be improved

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Nearly lost in the Andrew Wiggins news this afternoon was the fact that the SEC released the lineup for the inaugural Big 12/SEC Basketball Challenge, matching teams from the two conferences against each other.

Have to say we’re disappointed. There is hope, however.

We’re not so much disappointed with the matchups. The Kentucky-Baylor game on Dec. 6 in Arlington, Texas, will be part of the Challenge. Kansas will play at Florida. Vanderbilt will play at Texas. Ole Miss and Marshall Henderson travel to Kansas. Not bad.

What’s disappointing is that the event will be spread out over five weeks. The first game in the challenge is Nov. 14. The final game is Dec. 21. Unlike the ACC/Big 10 Challenge or even the SEC/Big East Challenge last year, the series is not held over two or three nights. The 10 games are spaced out.

Unfortunately, there is too much space between the start and the finish to make the series interesting to the average college basketball fan. Instead of holding the sport’s attention, I doubt that the event as a whole will make much of an impact on the hoops landscape.

“The inaugural Big 12/SEC Challenge (the event title will rotate to SEC/Big 12 Challenge in 2014) is a combination of existing games already scheduled along with new matchups created for this event during November and December,” SEC officials said in a news release. “The two conferences and ESPN will work to schedule matchups over consecutive days in future events.”

Let’s hope they can get that done.

Here are the matchups:

  • Thursday, Nov. 14: Texas Tech at Alabama
  • Monday, Dec. 2: Vanderbilt at Texas
  • Monday, Dec. 2: Auburn at Iowa State
  • Thursday, Dec.  5: Ole Miss at Kansas State
  • Thursday, Dec. 5: West Virginia at Missouri
  • Thursday, Dec.  5: TCU at Mississippi State
  • Friday, Dec. 6 South Carolina at Oklahoma State
  • Friday, Dec. 6: Kentucky vs. Baylor (Arlington, Texas)
  • Tuesday, Dec. 10: Kansas at Florida
  • Saturday, Dec. 21: Texas A&M vs. Oklahoma (Houston, Texas)
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