Mizzou will open its basketball season at Iowa State and could face Kansas State in a November tournament, but for the fourth consecutive season, the Tigers won’t be part of the annual SEC/Big 12 Challenge.
Why? Before the 2017-18 season, the conference announced that the same teams would participate for two consecutive seasons. Mizzou, despite landing No. 1 recruit Michael Porter Jr., wasn't one of the 10 SEC teams picked for the 2018 challenge. So despite Cuonzo Martin taking Missouri back to its first NCAA Tournament since 2013, the Tigers are not one of 10 teams scheduled to play a Big 12 opponent when the challenge resumes on Jan. 26, 2019. Instead, Mizzou will play a conference game on that day.
Southeastern Conference spokesman Craig Pinkerton wrote in an email to The Star that the two-year scheduling helps “balance out getting a home and a road game. Also, when assigning it every year, it creates an issue in non-conference scheduling for schools. They don’t know if they should plan on a high-major opponent or not until May when a lot of the scheduling process is completed.”
Here’s the full list of 2019 SEC/Big 12 Challenge match-ups:
- Alabama at Baylor
- Arkansas at Texas Tech
- Florida at TCU
- Texas at Georgia
- Kansas at Kentucky
- Iowa State at Ole Miss
- South Carolina at Oklahoma State
- West Virginia at Tennessee
- Kansas State at Texas A&M
- Vanderbilt at Oklahoma