Has SEC Basketball outgrown the SEC/Big 12 Challenge? On today’s SEC Teleconference, John Calipari said that because the league has improved so much, the event only serves as a distraction in the middle of conference play.
“To play this at this time of the year, I’m not for it,” Cal said. “The league is good enough that we don’t need something in the middle of our league that takes us away from league play to prove how good we are or not. I don’t think, other than a tough game in the middle of your league schedule, it serves as anything.”
Cal said when he was at Memphis and UMass, his teams needed events like this to boost their resumes because their conferences were so weak, like SEC Basketball was when the SEC/Big 12 Challenge was created in 2013; now that the league is sending eight teams to the NCAA Tournament, that’s no longer the case.
“With this, I’m not so sure. But if it ends up being good for both leagues, then so be it. I’m just saying, this league is hard enough we don’t need anything in the middle to say, this is how good we are, this is how good they are.”
During his press conference this morning, Kansas coach Bill Self agreed.
Bill Self isn’t a fan of timing of Big 12/SEC Challenge, since it breaks up conference play. “It’s not a great game for them. It’s not a great game us.” But he says its good for the kids to get to play a team like Kentucky and vice versa. Says there’s also a natural rivalry there
— Tyler Greever (@WIBWTyler) January 24, 2019
Like it or not, the SEC/Big 12 Challenge is coming. Here’s the schedule:
|1/26 – 12:00 PM||Alabama||Baylor||ESPNU|
|1/26 – 12:00 PM||(24) Iowa State||(20) Ole Miss||ESPN|
|1/26 – 12:00 PM||Florida||TCU||ESPN2|
|1/26 – 2:00 PM||South Carolina||Oklahoma State||ESPNU|
|1/26 – 2:00 PM||Texas||Georgia||ESPN2|
|1/26 – 2:00 PM||Kansas State||Texas A&M||ESPN|
|1/26 – 4:00 PM||Vanderbilt||Oklahoma||ESPN2|
|1/26 – 4:00 PM||West Virginia||(1) Tennessee||ESPN|
|1/26 – 6:00 PM||Arkansas||(14) Texas Tech||ESPN2|
|1/26 – 6:00 PM||(25) LSU||Missouri||SEC NETWORK|
|1/26 – 6:00 PM||(9) Kansas||(8) Kentucky||ESPN|
|1/26 – 8:30 PM||(16) Auburn||(22) Mississippi St||SEC NETWORK|