SEC/Big East Matchups Announced, But Lack a Headliner

Posted by Brian Joyce on June 2nd, 2012

The SEC and Big East released the 12 pairings for its annual challenge on Friday, but lacks the powerhouse matchups one blogger expected. The scheduled games are as follows:

Thursday, November 29

  • Marquette at Florida
  • Seton Hall at LSU
  • Kentucky at Notre Dame
  • South Carolina at St. John’s

Friday, November 30

  • Syracuse at Arkansas
  • DePaul at Auburn
  • Tennessee at Georgetown
  • Georgia at South Florida

Saturday, December 1

  • Alabama at Cincinnati
  • Rutgers at Mississippi
  • Mississippi State at Providence
  • Villanova at Vanderbilt

Where are the headliner games? Where is Kentucky versus Syracuse? Louisville versus Florida? Missouri versus Notre Dame? Well, these games don’t exist because of the fine print in the conferences’ two-year agreement. After digging down into the logistics, the pairings make more sense, but it still doesn’t excuse the fact that this challenge lacks the firepower of the ACC/Big Ten matchup.

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Checking In On… the SEC

Posted by Gerald Smith on December 6th, 2011

Gerald Smith is the RTC correspondent for the Southeastern Conference. 

Reader’s Take


The Week That Was

  • Big East Beatdown:The SEC left this past weekend’s Big East/SEC Challenge battered and bruised. Despite a tight road win for Mississippi at DePaul, the SEC only won four of the twelve games of the Challenge. Several of the high-profile swing games were close but did not turn in the SEC’s favor: Florida‘s three-point barrage wasn’t enough to lift it over Syracuse’s offensive rebounding and free-throw rate; Alabama could not slow down Georgetown’s offense enough to catch up; and Vanderbilt folded late in regulation and offered no counter to Louisville’s defense in overtime. The eight SEC teams that lost in the Challenge games scored an average of just 59.8 points, which includes Florida’s respectable 68 points and South Carolina’s surprising 67 points. Those eight losing teams also were out-rebounded by an average of 4.6 rebounds per game, with five teams out-rebounded by at least six rebounds. Those are some big talking points for coaches as they take their teams into the the final warm-ups for conference play.
  • And All I Gave You Was Goodbye: Vanderbilt’s problems are almost too numerous to count. Everybody notices the absence of injured center Festus Ezeli; others have picked up on its underwhelming point-guard play. A recent disturbing trend is Jeffery Taylor‘s ineffectiveness late in Vandy’s last two games. Most of the senior’s stats this year (14.9 PPG, 47.3% FG, 6.3 RPG, 2.9 APG) are career bests… except for free-throw shooting (57.5%, down from 71.9% last season). Against Xavier, Taylor didn’t score after the 8:17 mark in the 2nd half. Against Louisville, Taylor didn’t score after the 17:25 mark in the second half, and gave up five turnovers from that time until the end of overtime. We hope he and his coaching staff can figures out what’s happening to him late in games and fix yet another problem dragging down his team.

Vandy's Jeffery Taylor doesn't want to go back to December after his dismal late-game performance against Louisville. (AP/Timothy D. Easley)

  • Yeah, Click-Clack: The Head Ball Coach is mostly done with Bruce Ellington, and not a moment too soon for coach Darrin Horn. The Gamecocks lost four of their first six games before Ellington hit the floor last Thursday in a 76-67 loss to Providence. On Sunday, the sophomore guard and his teammates beat their in-state rival Clemson 58-55 in part to Ellington’s nine points which included 4-4 FT. With Ellington back in the fold — and without any significant injuries from his time playing football — the Gamecocks can finally get their offense moving again.

Power Rankings


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Around The Blogosphere: May 20, 2011

Posted by nvr1983 on May 20th, 2011

If you are interested in participating, send your submissions to as we will be updating these posts throughout the day.

General News

  • Jamari Traylor Signs With Bill Self And Kansas: “After the news that Trevor Lacey is staying at home and attending Alabama, Kansas fans could use some good news and it looks like we have some. IMG Academy’s website as well as others are reporting that Jamari Traylor has committed to the Kansas Jayhawks.” (Rock Chalk Talk)
  • Big East/SEC Challenge pairings: A full listing of games in this year’s inter-conference challenge.  (Card Chronicle)
  • Regents Approve Crisler Arena Makeover: “The University of Michigan Regents approved the schematic designs of the $52 million makover to Crisler Arena. The overhaul will include new fan entrances, additional retail and ticketing spaces as well as a private club space.” (UM Hoops)
  • Potential George Mason transfer looking at Louisville: “According to multiple sources, Louisville is one of the schools in the running to land current George Mason forward Luke Hancock.” (Card Chronicle)
  • Trevor Lacey headed to Alabama: “The five-star shooting guard from Alabama has decided to stay home and play his college basketball for Anthony Grant and the Alabama Crimson Tide.” (Kentucky Sports Radio)

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The Big East and SEC Join Challenge Week

Posted by nvr1983 on December 16th, 2010

Given the growing popularity of the ACC-Big Ten Challenge over the past few years it seemed inevitable that the other power conferences would join the fray and earlier today the Big East and SEC announced that they would be expanding their relatively under-the-radar SEC/Big East Invitational into a more comprehensive Big East/SEC Challenge. Over the past four seasons the two conferences have engage in a series of 4 games to decide a winner. To date the conferences are tied 1-1-2 with the conferences splitting the overall games 8-8.

We could be seeing more huge SEC/Big East games in the future

While the SEC/Big East Invitational has yielded a few good match-ups over the past few seasons with the most recent being Tennessee‘s big win at Pittsburgh the fact that it only involves 4 match-ups between the conferences limits the ability of fans of either conference to confidently claim superiority based on these results although we have a sneaking suspicion that the Big East fans would have a stronger argument over the past few seasons. The new format would involve 12 games meaning that all the SEC teams would play every year and 12 of the 16 (then 17) Big East teams would participate each year. Because only the SEC teams would get to play every year the home-and-away rotation would be based on the SEC team. The games will be played over 4 days beginning on the Thursday after Thanksgiving. Keeping the Challenge to a confined period should keep fans interest and avoid some of the pitfalls that plagued the Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series that is coming to an end. In a somewhat amusing move the name will alternate each year from the Big East/SEC Challenge in 2011 to the SEC/Big East Challenge in 2012 and so on. The match-ups have not been announced yet, but will be broadcast on one of ESPN’s family of networks starting on December 1, 2011.

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