The matchups for the 2019 SEC/Big 12 Challenge are set, taking place Saturday, Jan. 26, during the conference schedule – headlined by two potential top-10 matchups, with No. 1 Kansas facing No. 4 Kentucky, and No. 13 West Virginia playing No. 6 Tennessee. The annual event, in its sixth year, matches all 10 of the Big 12 members against 10 of the 14 programs from the Southeastern Conference. Each conference will host five games with the network assignments and tip times to be announced at a later date.
Four of the 10 games will be televised on ESPN, four on ESPN2 and two games will air on ESPNU. All 10 games will also be available on the ESPN app.
ESPN’s College GameDay Covered by State Farm – the Saturday 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.
Six teams are ranked in Myron Metcalf’s ESPN.com Way-Too-Early Top 25: No. 1 Kansas, No. 4 Kentucky, No. 6 Tennessee, No. 12 Kansas State, No. 13 West Virginia and No. 23 TCU
- First-time Challenge matchups for Alabama-Baylor, Iowa State-Ole Miss, Kansas State-Texas A&M, Vanderbilt-Oklahoma, Florida-TCU and West Virginia-Tennessee
- All of the Big 12 schools plus the SEC’s Kentucky, Florida, Ole Miss and Vanderbilt have participated in each of the last five Challenges
- Texas-Georgia and Kansas-Kentucky are rematches from the 2017 Challenge
- Texas Tech-Arkansas is a rematch from the 2016 Challenge, while South Carolina-Oklahoma State is a rematch from the 2015 Challenge and the third time the two teams are facing each other in this event
- Thirteen teams competed in the 2018 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship: Final Four participant Kansas; Elite Eight teams Kansas State and Texas Tech, Sweet 16 teams Kentucky, Texas A&M and West Virginia, as well as Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, TCU, Tennessee, Texas and Oklahoma
- The Challenge field has 10 players ranked in the top 30 of 2018 ESPN Recruiting Nation 100, including two of the top 10: No. 7 Keldon Johnson (Kentucky), No. 8 Quentin Grimes (Kansas), No. 14 E.J. Montgomery (Kentucky), No. 16 Darius Garland (Vanderbilt), No. 18 Simisola Shittu (Vanderbilt), No. 22 Devon Dotson (Kansas), No. 23 Immanuel Quickley (Kentucky), No. 25 David McCormack (Kansas), No. 26 Andrew Nembhard (Florida) and No. 28 Tyler Herro (Kentucky)
- Kansas, Kentucky and Vanderbilt all boast top 10 incoming classes, according to the 2018 ESPN Recruiting Nation Class Rankings.
2019 Big 12/SEC Challenge schedule (networks & times will be announced in August)
|Sat, Jan 26||Alabama at Baylor|
|Iowa State at Ole Miss|
|No. 1 Kansas at No. 4 Kentucky|
|No. 12 Kansas State at Texas A&M|
|Vanderbilt at Oklahoma|
|South Carolina at Oklahoma State|
|Florida at No. 23 TCU|
|Texas at Georgia|
|Arkansas at Texas Tech|
|No. 13 West Virginia at No. 6 Tennessee|
The SEC won the 2018 Challenge for the first time in event history. The conferences split the 2017 Challenge with five wins each.