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This Year’s SEC/Big East Challenge Matchups Are Set

The SEC has announced the matchups for this year’s SEC/Big East Challenge and there will only be 12 games played.  Some had wondered if Missouri and Texas A&M would get to take part this season — the Big East still has about 40 basketball schools — but the answer is no.  Sorry Tigers and Aggies.

This year’s games are as follows:


Thursday, November 29, 2012  
South Carolina at St. John’s
Seton Hall at LSU
Kentucky at Notre Dame
Marquette at Florida

Friday, November 30, 2012   
Georgia at South Florida
DePaul at Auburn
Tennessee at Georgetown
Syracuse at Arkansas

Saturday, December 1, 2012 
Mississippi State at Providence
Rutgers at Ole Miss
Alabama at Cincinnati
Villanova at Vanderbilt


UPDATE — Hold off on buying those Syracuse/Arkansas tickets.  As part of their ongoing battle to escape the Big East, Syracuse officials have told the league they are “overcommitted” and can’t take part in the game.  Meanwhile, Pittsburgh officials — also trying to escape — say they were expecting to get a home game this year.  Instead, they were left out.

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Stansbury, Players React To NIT Bid, Late-Season Swoon

After 14 years as head coach, Rick Stansbury’s popularity is probably at low ebb today.  The Bulldogs failed to reach the NCAA Tournament with a team that many felt back in November could actually compete for second-place in the SEC behind Kentucky.

As his players took to Twitter to share their thoughts — Arnett Moultrie tweeted “Well ug et what you u deserve” – Stansbury tried to keep things on an even keel:

“Naturally, we are disappointed we are not playing in the NCAA Tournament, but at the same time we are looking forward to the NIT.”

Don’t bet on it.  The Bulldogs dropped six of their last eight games including two painful losses to a Georgia team that’s season is already over.  It was just two weeks ago that players on State’s team were questioning one another’s effort.  The possibility of an early flame-out is very real for this squad.  They open at home with UMass and then will likely travel to #1 seed Seton Hall.

Senior Dee Bost said via press release that he’s “thankful for another opportunity, especially after leaving the SEC Tournament on a sour note.”

The question is: Which of his teammates are thankful for another opportunity and which ones just want a disappointing season to end?

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SEC Headlines 12/3/2011

Updates:  Report: Arkansas offensive coordinator Derrick McGee has accepted an offer to become UAB’s head coach. More here.  Statement from Bobby Petrino here.

Dan Mullen denies contact with Penn State – again.  H/T  More here.

ESPN Gameday Q and A with Nick Saban.

1. Alabama’s Kirby Smart and Arkansas State’s Hugh Freeze top the Ole Miss coaching search.

2. “Here’s a text that says, ‘Archie, I have tremendous love for Ole Miss. I would love to serve as their next head coach. Any consideration would be greatly appreciated.’ It’s signed, ‘Hugh Freeze.’ Do you know who he is?”

3. Vanderbilt’s James Franklin gets a new contract and the school will be getting a new indoor practice facility.

4. Alabama’s Trent Richardson, Stanford’s Andrew Luck and Baylor’s Robert Griffin III are considered the top three Heisman candidates.  Wisconsin’s Montee Ball could damage Richardson’s chances tonight.

5. Jim Rome interviews Richardson: “I’ve got mouths to feed…

6. Would an Alabama – LSU rematch be wonderful, terrible or just plain stupid? Don”t forget Oklahoma State.

7. Derek Dooley on his star wide receiver: “Da’Rick Rogers has not been suspended.”

8. Jon Solomon: How desperate is Auburn for a quarterback?

9. Former Kentucky co-defensive coordinator Steve Brown could see the writing on the wall.

10. Louisville 62 – Vanderbilt 60.  Second straight overtime loss for the Commodores.

11. Syracuse 72 – Florida 68. 20 turnovers for the Gators at the Carrier Dome.

12. Cincinnati 57- Georgia 51. Bulldogs blow an 11-point second-half lead.

13. Seton Hall 81 – Auburn 49.  14-2 run by the Pirates turn a somewhat close game into a blowout.

14. Battle of the blue bloods in Big Blue country – North Carolina at Kentucky and the Tar Heels want revenge.

15. John Clay: “Come on, now, is this not the most highly anticipated event in these parts since Rick Pitino’s return to Rupp?”

16. How will Arkansas’ freshmen respond at Connecticut?

17. Pittsburgh comes to Knoxville – can the Vols measure up against a ranked opponent?

18. Mississippi State has its hands full tonight against a tough West Virginia team.

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Times Set For Big East/SEC Challenge

For the first time, all 12 SEC schools — along with 12 schools from the Big East — will take part in the annual Big East/SEC Challenge this December.  Yesterday, ESPN announced the tip times for each game (all time Eastern):

Thursday, December 1st
Providence at South Carolina, 7pm, ESPNU
St. John’s at Kentucky, 7:30pm, ESPN2
Ole Miss at DePaul, 9:00pm, ESPNU
Georgetown at Alabama, 9:30pm, ESPN2

Friday, December 2nd
Florida at Syracuse, 6:30pm, ESPN
Cincinnati at Georgia, 7:00pm, ESPNU
Vanderbilt at Louisville, 8:30pm, ESPN
Auburn at Seton Hall, 9:00pm, ESPNU

Saturday, December 3rd
Arkansas at UConn, 3:15pm, ESPN
Pittsburgh at Tennessee, 5:15pm, ESPN
LSU at Rutgers, 7:00pm, ESPNU
West Virginia at Mississippi State, 9:00pm, ESPNU

Basically, there appear to be two good games each day: SJU/UK and Georgetown/Bama on Friday, Florida/Syracuse and Vandy/Louisville on Saturday, and Arkansas/UConn and WVU/MSU on Saturday.

Not a bad lineup for one three-day event.

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Big East/SEC Challenge To Include All 12 League Teams

The Big East and SEC announced yesterday that this year’s hoops challenge between the two leagues will involve 24 teams — all 12 of the SEC’s programs and roughly 1/8th of the Big East’s massive lineup.  All 12 games will be played over a three-day span in early December and all of the contests will be broadcast on the ESPN family of networks.

Last year — with only four games being played — the SEC went 3-1 against the juggernaut league from Northeast.

Here’s the rundown for this year’s Big East/SEC Challenge, including last year’s records:

Thursday, December 1st
Georgetown (21-11, NCAA) at Alabama (25-12, NIT)
Providence (15-17) at South Carolina (14-16)
St. John’s (21-12, NCAA) at Kentucky (29-9, NCAA Final Four)
Ole Miss (20-14, NIT) at DePaul (7-24)

Friday, December 2nd
Auburn (11-20) at Seton Hall (13-18)
Florida (29-8, NCAA) at Syracuse (27-8, NCAA)
Cincinnati (26-9, NCAA) at Georgia (21-12, NCAA)
Vanderbilt (23-11, NCAA) at Louisville (25-10, NCAA)

Saturday, December 3rd
Arkansas (18-13) at UConn (32-9, NCAA Champions)
West Virginia (21-12, NCAA) at Mississippi State (17-14)
LSU (11-21) at Rutgers (15-17)
Pittsburgh (28-6, NCAA) at Tennessee (19-15, NCAA)

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SEC Headlines – 12/9/10 Part One

1. The SEC has announced its all-freshman team.

2.  Ticket sales are brisk for the Capital One Bowl between Alabama and Michigan State.

3.  JaMychal Green has been reinstated to Bama’s basketball team.

4.  Auburn’s Nick Fairley has won the Lombardi Award.  (Reportedly he gave the presenter a late hit as he picked it up.)

5.  Cam Newton has gone from off-the-beaten-path juco player to superstar.

6.  Wanna bet on who replaces Urban Meyer?  Dan Mullen’s the favorite.

7.  Don’t expect Meyer to stay out of the game forever.

8.  Will Bobby Petrino be around when Arkansas builds its new football operations center (worth $25 to $34 million)?

9.  The Razorbacks moved to 6-1 with a 71-62 win over Seton Hall last night.

More to come…

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Strong bench play leads Hogs over Pirates

With 42 of the total points coming from the bench, the Razorbacks defeated Seton Hall, 71-62, at the SEC-Big East Invitational on Wednesday.

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Arkansas Beats Seton Hall 71-62

Content provided by The Slophouse.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Julysses Nobles scored a career-high 19 points to lead Arkansas to a 71-62 win over Seton Hall on Wednesday night in the SEC/Big East Invitational at Freedom Hall.

Marshawn Powell added 12 points and 10 rebounds while Rotnei Clarke and Mardracus Wade scored 11 points for the Razorbacks (6-1), who used a late 11-0 run to put away the Pirates.

Arkansas senior Delvon Johnson finished just shy of a triple-double with 10 points, 12 rebounds and eight blocked shots.

Jordan Theodore led Seton Hall 3-4) with 24 points but the Pirates ran out of gas after erasing a 17-point lead.

Theodore hit a pair of free throws with 7:05 to go to give Seton Hall a 51-50 lead before Arkansas took off. Powell got it going with a couple of free throws and a spinning layup and Nobles capped the burst with a 3-pointer to put Arkansas up 61-51 with 2:19 to play.

The Pirates fell to 1-3 without leading scorer Jeremy Hazell, who is out until January after breaking his left wrist against Alabama on Nov. 19.

This story will be updated.

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O Me of Little Faith: Arkansas 71, Seton Hall 62

Content provided by Razorback Expats.

Marshawn Powell #33 of the Arkansas Razorbacks shoots against the Seton Hall Pirates.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

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Andy Lyons – Getty Images

Marshawn Powell #33 of the Arkansas Razorbacks shoots against the Seton Hall Pirates. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)

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I will admit it: When Arkansas found itself down 51 to 50 after leading by as many as 17 in the first half and by a dozen at intermission, I was convinced the Hogs were going to lose. Most of the second half was as ugly as all get out, but I think the Hogs showed something by gathering themselves to walk away with a nine-point victory.

The hero of the night was undoubtedly Delvon Johnson, who had 10 points, 12 rebounds and 8(!) blocked shots. It’s early yet, but I don’t know that I’ve seen a Hog player improve so dramatically since Nicky Davis seemingly came out of nowhere to become a rebounding and defensive machine in his senior season of 1998. Kudos to Delvon.

Julysses Nobles also deserves a special mention, as he finished with 19 points and really helped the Hogs build their big first-half lead.

The Hogs look pretty rough at times and halfway decent at times. All in all, about what I expected so far. They seem to have a good spirit about them, and the season is early yet. Here’s hoping some good times are in store during the rest of the year.

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Neutrality is the aim at UK-Notre Dame game

Content provided by Jerry Tipton on UK basketball.

I just ran into Patrick Whitmer, the public address announcer at Rupp Arena for Kentucky home games. He will be doing the P.A. duties in Freedom Hall tonight when UK plays Notre Dame and Arkansas faces Seton Hall.

Whitmer said that organizers of the SEC-Big East Invitational told him to be neutral in his announcements. So there will be no references to “The greatest tradition in the history of college basketball!!!!!!” Nor will Whitmer exclaim, “Three by Knight!!!!!!”


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