Big East - SEC Challenge pairings announced
Friday, June 01, 2012
We're still five months away from the college basketball season's official tip-off...but there's no time like the present to talk scheduling.
The 2nd Annual SEC-Big East Challenge will take place November 29-December 1, at six SEC and six Big East school locations. The Big East contingent in the Challenge will include Cincinnati, DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Notre Dame, Rutgers, St. John’s, Seton Hall, USF, Syracuse, Villanova and Providence. Six of the 12 Big East teams reached the NCAA tournament last season, while the SEC has four participating teams that reached the NCAA's.
This season, Connecticut, Louisville and Pittsburgh will not be taking part in the Challenge.
After playing on the road at South Carolina last December 1 and beating the Gamecocks 76-67, this year the Friars have earned a home game for the Dunkin Donuts Center, where they will face the Mississippi State Bulldogs on Saturday, December 1, 2012. PC has never faced Mississippi State on the basketball floor, but the Friars do hold an 11-16 all-time record against current SEC teams.
Mississippi State finished with a 21-12 mark and advanced to the first round of the NIT last season. The Bulldogs went 8-8 and finished tied for sixth in SEC conference play. The team returns six of nine lettermen, including junior guard Jalen Steele. Steele averaged 8.7 ppg last season in almost 24 minutes per game. The team will be guided by first-year Head Coach Rick Ray.
The 2012 SEC-Big East Challenge includes the following matchups:
Thursday, November 29
Kentucky at Notre Dame
Marquette at Florida
South Carolina at St. John’s
Seton Hall at LSU
Friday, November 30
Syracuse at Arkansas
Tennessee at Georgetown
DePaul at Auburn
Georgia at USF
Saturday, December 1
Alabama at Cincinnati
Villanova at Vanderbilt
Mississippi State at Providence
Rutgers at Mississippi
Since 1999, the SEC (six) and the BIG EAST (nine) have combined for 15 Final Four appearances and seven national titles: Connecticut (1999, 2004 and 2011), Florida (2006 and 2007), Kentucky (2012) and Syracuse (2003). The Big East took the first SEC/Big East Challenge last year, winning eight of the 12 games in 2011.
The dates for the 2012 Puerto Rico Tip-Off Tournament in San Juan, PR have been set, with the Friars playing in the event November 15, 16 and 18 in the Coliseo de Puerto Rico. While the tournament bracket has not officially been decided, PC will participate in the event with NC State, Penn State, Tennessee, Oklahoma State, Massachusetts, Southern Mississippi, and Akron. The Friars will leave for San Juan on November 13th and return on the 19th...while there is excitement on the Brown campus over the hiring of former player Mike Martin as their new head coach, there is also excitement over the potential home game at the Pizzitola Center against PC. While the date has not been officially decided, at this time it looks as if the Friars' first on-campus game at Brown in more than 40 years (and first game ever at the Pizzitola Center) will occur sometime after January 1, 2013...