First Big 12/SEC Challenge sends Vanderbilt hoops somewhere new

Tuesday, May 14, 2013 at 2:26pm

Both endured uncharacteristically modest success last season.

In 2013-14, Vanderbilt and Texas programs will cross paths as they try to return to normalcy.

The Commodores will travel to Austin, Texas, to play the Longhorns on Dec. 2 as part of the Big 12/SEC Challenge, both conferences announced Tuesday. The inaugural event will include all 10 members of the Big 12 and 10 of the SEC’s 14 schools. Arkansas, Georgia, LSU and Tennessee will not participate in the first year.

The SEC no longer will participate in a similar challenge with the Big East, which will undergo a massive membership transformation this summer.

“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.”

The schools have met six times, with Vanderbilt winning the last four. The Commodores, however, never have played Texas on its home floor. The last time the programs met, Vanderbilt won 94-79 on Jan. 21, 1989.

Texas is trying to rebound from an underwhelming 2012-13 campaign. The Longhorns went 16-18 overall, 7-11 in the Big 12 and failed to make the NCAA Tournament for the first time in Rick Barnes’ 15 years as head coach.

Vanderbilt also missed the NCAA Tournament — for the first time since 2009. The Commodores finished with a losing record (16-17) for only the second time in Kevin Stallings’ 14 year as coach.

All 10 games of the Big 12/SEC Challenge will be played on ESPN’s family of networks, with times to be announced later.

2013 Big 12/SEC Challenge schedule
Nov. 14

Texas Tech at Alabama

Dec. 2
Vanderbilt at Texas
Auburn at Iowa State

Dec. 5
Ole Miss at Kansas State
West Virginia at Missouri
TCU at Mississippi State

Dec. 6
South Carolina at Oklahoma State
Kentucky vs. Baylor (Arlington, Texas)

Dec. 10
Kansas at Florida

Dec. 21
Texas A&M vs. Oklahoma (Arlington, Texas)