NCAA Basketball: Ranking the 2021 Big 12/SEC Challenge matchups

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NCAA Basketball

Jan 25, 2020; Lubbock, Texas, USA; Kentucky Wildcats guard Ashton Hagans (0) drives against Texas Tech Red Raiders guard Kyler Edwards (0) Mandatory Credit: Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

The matchups for the Big 12/SEC Challenge this season have been set. Which ones have the most intrigue for NCAA Basketball fans?

The scheduling for the upcoming NCAA Basketball season is slowly getting together, including both individual matchups and events. The same goes for inter-conference “challenges”, including between the ACC and Big Ten, and Big 12 and Big East.

Another is the Challenge between the SEC and Big 12, one that has now been around for nearly a decade. The Big 12 has the overall advantage (40-30), including four decisive wins as a conference over the SEC. Last season though, it was a 5-5 tie between the two.

It wasn’t certain that the challenge would even happen this season. Unlike the other conference challenges, this one typically occurs in January. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, leagues have been creating schedules best suited to get games completed to avoid problems with cancellations.

However, things are a full-go between the two leagues, with January 30th as the day for the 10 games. There’s even more importance for these matchups, with the non-conference games slimmed down due to the extended start of the season.

Unfortunately for Georgia, South Carolina, Ole Miss, and Vanderbilt, they’re the teams that were left out of the challenge. They’ll have to find other opportunities to get a quality non-conference game on their respective schedules.

As for the others, there’s a lot on the line, besides conference pride on January 30. Which of these games are the “must watch” on the day? Here’s a preseason ranking, along with key storylines for the games.

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