Ranking the 2022 Big 12-SEC Challenge Games Ahead of Saturday
This Saturday, the ninth edition of the Big 12-SEC Challenge provides some interesting matchups for men’s basketball. The Big 12 teams hold a 44-35 series lead in the Challenge, but the SEC commands head-to-head meetings against their Big 12 counterparts in this year’s contests.
Let’s take a look at this year’s lineup ranking the games from worst to first.
10. Kansas State (10-9) at Ole Miss (10-10); 3 p.m.; ESPNU
The Wildcats have lost two straight games but are only 12 points from being a 16-3 team. Rebels have lost seven of last nine games. Wildcats and Rebels have met twice in past Challenges. KSU captured both wins (61-58 in 2014 and 69-64 in 2016). Challenge Records: KSU 3-5; Ole Miss 0-6. Head-to-Head Matchup: Ole Miss leads 3-2.
9. Missouri (8-11) at Iowa State (15-5); 1 p.m.; ESPNU
A matchup of long-time conference foes. Tigers have lost two straight heading into Saturday. Cyclones jumped to a 12-0 non-conference record to start the season and held a Top 10 ranking but have dropped five of eight in Big 12 action. They currently are ranked 23rd in the AP Poll and No. 24 in the Coaches Poll. I-State won Wednesday to snap a two-game losing streak. Cyclones 11-2 at Hilton Coliseum. Challenge Records: ISU 3-5; MU 2-2. Head-to-Head Matchup: MU leads 150-85.
8. West Virginia (13-6) at Arkansas (15-5); 1 p.m. ESPN2
Mountaineers have lost four straight this year and lost their second home game to Oklahoma on Wednesday. Razorbacks are riding a five-game winning streak and are 11-1 at home. Challenge Records: WVU 3-4; UA 2-6. Head-to-Head Matchup: UA leads 1-0.
7. Oklahoma State (10-9) at Florida (12-8); 3 p.m.; ESPN2
Both teams come into this contest on a two-game slide. Cowboys lost both games (Texas and Iowa State) by a combined 8 points. Gators are 8-3 at Stephen C. Connell Center. Four of Florida’s losses have been at the hands of ranked SEC opponents. Records: OSU 6-2; UF 5-3. Head-to-Head Matchup: UF leads 3-0.
6. Oklahoma (13-7) at Auburn (19-1); 1 p.m. ESPN
Sooners got a win over West Virginia on Wednesday to snap a two-game skid. Four of OU’s seven losses have been by a combined 11 points. Tigers are ranked No. 1 in the AP Poll and No. 2 in Coaches Poll. After losing to Connecticut in its fourth game, Auburn has won 16 straight, including three victories over ranked teams. Tigers are 10-0 at home. Challenge Records: OU 6-2; AU 2-4. Head-to-Head Matchup: AU leads 2-1.
5. Baylor (18-2) at Alabama (13-7); 3 p.m.; ESPN
The Bears, defending national champs, are ranked fourth in both polls and are rising a three-game win streak. BU is undefeated (5-0) on the road. Crimson has lost four of last six heading into Saturday. Five of Bama’s losses have been by a combined 17 points. Baylor won their previous Challenge meeting 73-68 in 2019. Challenge Records: BU 6-1; UA 3-2; Head-to-Head Matchup: UA leads 7-2.
4. Mississippi State (13-6) at Texas Tech (15-5); 5 p.m. ESPN2
Bulldog fans hope to get revenge for getting blown out by the Red Raiders in the Liberty Bowl a month ago, ending their college football season. The roundball Bulldogs are winless on the road (0-3), while the Raiders are undefeated (12-0) at home. Tech is ranked No. 13 in the AP Poll and 14th in the Coaches Poll. Challenge Records: MSU 1-2; TTU 5-3; Head-to-Head Matchup: TTU leads 2-0.
3. LSU (16-4) at TCU (13-4); 11 a.m.; ESPN2
The Tigers, No. 19 in the AP Poll and 18 in the Coaches Poll, got a win on Wednesday against Texas A&M to snap a three-game skid. LSU began the season at 12-0 but have lost four or eight games in the SEC. After a 10-1 start to this season, the Horned Frogs have a 3-3 mark in Big 12 action. Challenge Records: LSU 12-3; TCU 4-4; Head-to-Head Matchup: LSU leads 3-1.
2. Tennessee (14-5) at Texas (15-5); 7 p.m.; ESPN
Volunteers are coming in on a three-game winning streak while the Longhorns have won two straight. Tennessee is ranked No. 18 in the AP Poll and 20th in the Coaches Poll. Texas is No. 25 in the Coaches Poll. Vols are 203 on the road; Horns are 12-1 at home. Challenge Records: Tenn. 5-2; Texas 3-4; Head-to-Head Matchup: Tied at 3-3.
1. Kentucky (16-4) at Kansas (17-2); 5 p.m.; ESPN
These are the bluest of the bluebloods in the Challenge. A combined 11 national championships—The Wildcats have won eight while the Jayhawks have won three. Kansas is currently ranked fifth in the polls, while Kentucky is 12th in the AP Poll and 13th in the Coaches Poll. These two teams have met three times in past Challenges—Kansas won 90-84 in an overtime thriller in 2016 and 79-73 a year later. Kentucky won 71-63 in 2019. Challenge Records: Kentucky 4-3; Kansas 5-3; Head-to-Head Matchup: Kentucky leads 23-10.