STARKVILLE, Miss. — The challenge is on.
Tuesday, the Southeastern Conference and the Big 12 jointly announced the inception of the Big 12/SEC Challenge for men’s basketball, which will make its debut in the 2013-14 season with 10 games.
Mississippi State, under the direction of second-year coach Rick Ray, will host TCU on Thursday, Dec. 5.
All 10 of the Big 12’s teams and 10 SEC schools will participate in the inaugural event. Arkansas, Georgia, LSU and Tennessee will not participate this year.
ESPN will have the exclusive coverage for all games across its networks.
“Pairing us with TCU in this challenge with the Big 12 was a great move by the SEC,” Ray said. “Coach (Trent) Johnson is a quality coach and individual that will have an improved team ready to come and compete in the Hump. It should be and will continue to be an entertaining matchup for our fans this year and the years to come.”
This event replaces the SEC/Big East Challenge, where MSU was 2-2 with wins against DePaul and West Virginia and losses to Cincinnati and Providence.
“The ability to showcase SEC basketball in this kind of conference competition makes this a unique and exciting event for our coaches, student-athletes and fans,” SEC Commissioner Mike Slive said. “We are pleased to be able to work with the Big 12 and ESPN to highlight the sport of men’s basketball.”
2013 SEC/Big 12 Challenge schedule (times and networks are to be determined):
Thursday, Nov. 14 Texas Tech at Alabama
Monday, Dec. 2 Vanderbilt at Texas
Auburn at Iowa State
Thursday, Dec. 5 Ole Miss at Kansas State
West Virginia at Missouri
TCU at Mississippi State
Friday, Dec. 6 South Carolina at Oklahoma State
Kentucky vs. Baylor (Arlington, Texas)
Tuesday, Dec. 10 Kansas at Florida
Saturday, Dec. 21 Texas A&M vs. Oklahoma (Houston, Texas)