For just the second time in the 8 year history of the SEC/Big 12 Basketball Challenge, the SEC has come out with the outright win, going 5-4 on Saturday, January 30th. The weekend shaped up to be a fun one, with 8 of the 18 teams who participated being ranked in the top 25. The only teams who did not participate were 5th ranked Texas and Kentucky, due to positive COVID test results on the Wildcats team. Here are the outcomes of Saturday’s games:
(24) Oklahoma 66, (9) Alabama 61
Texas A&M 68, Kansas State 61
(10) Texas Tech 76, LSU 71
Florida 85, (11) West Virginia 80
(12) Missouri 102, TCU 98 (OT)
(2) Baylor 84, Auburn 72
Oklahoma State 81, Arkansas 77
(18) Tennessee 80, (15) Kansas 61
Mississippi State 95, Iowa State 56
The two marquee matchups of the day were ranked-on-ranked battles between (24) Oklahoma and (9) Alabama, and (18) Tennessee and (15) Kansas. While the Tennessee game ended up being a blowout win for the Vols, the Tide and the Sooners played a tight game. In the end, the buy guys from Norman would hand Bama its first loss in 10 games. While this ended the Tide’s impressive run, Alabama is still undefeated in SEC play, which is set to resume Wednesday February 3rd at home against LSU. Maybe the loss will be a good wakeup call for Alabama, that they need to play consistently every week against solid competition. While they are 9-0 in the SEC, their out of conference record drops to just 5-4 (with three wins against mid-majors).
Biggest surprise of the weekend: the 9-7 TCU Horned Frogs taking 12th ranked Missouri to overtime in Columbia! TCU had no business playing the Tigers tight, but thats what makes college basketball so great, you never know when a good game will happen, as the Horned Frogs almost pulled off the upset. And speaking of upsets…how about Florida knocking off 11th ranked West Virginia? Well, it is sorta an upset, Florida is a good team. They’ve been off lately, but don’t be surprised to see them kick it back in gear. The win over the Mountaineers is the Gator’s 10th of the season and they look to make the end of the SEC season count.
So what were your thoughts on this year’s SEC/Big 12 Challenge? Were you surprised or was it about what you expected? Where do you see teams finishing out conference play ahead of tournament season? Let us know in the comments and check back with BHM Sports for more as the season carries on.