Big 12

Kansas to host Kentucky, Kansas State to host Mississippi in Big 12/SEC challenge

Kentucky and Kansas will meet at Allen Fieldhouse next season.
Kentucky and Kansas will meet at Allen Fieldhouse next season. AP

Kansas will host Kentucky on Jan. 30 at Allen Fieldhouse in the premier game of the Big 12/SEC basketball challenge next season.

The Big 12 and SEC decided to move their 10-game basketball series from its traditional December window to late January in an attempt to boost interest in the challenge, and it’s a safe bet that the Jayhawks and Wildcats will do exactly that.

Kansas and Kentucky have met in the regular season four times in the previous 10 years, as well as twice in the NCAA Tournament. Kentucky beat Kansas in two Champions Classic games, including a 32-point beatdown last season. The Jayhawks swept a home-and-home series against the Wildcats in 2005 and 2006, while the teams split their NCAA Tournament meetings. This will be their first on-campus meeting in a decade.

Another intriguing game in next season’s challenge: Mississippi at Kansas State. It will be a rematch of 2013, when the Wildcats defeated the Rebels, led by Marshall Henderson, in their opening Big 12/SEC challenge game.

K-State could play as many four SEC teams next season. It will travel to Texas A&M and Georgia in the regular season, and could face Missouri at the CBE Classic at Sprint Center. The Wildcats will also take on Colorado State at Wichita’s Intrust Bank Arena.

Complete Big 12/SEC challenge pairings were announced Thursday. They include Georgia at Baylor, Tennessee at TCU, Vanderbilt at Texas, Iowa State at Texas A&M, Oklahoma at LSU, Oklahoma State at Auburn, Texas Tech at Arkansas and West Virginia at Florida.

With 10 teams in the Big 12 and 14 in the SEC, four SEC teams were left out of the competition. Because of scheduling conflicts, several days were required to complete past challenges. This season, all games will be held Jan. 30.

The Big 12 leads the series 13-7.

Reach Kellis Robinett at krobinett@wichitaeagle.com. Follow him on Twitter: @kellisrobinett.

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