Campus Corner

Kentucky at KU highlights Big 12/SEC Challenge

Kansas and Kentucky will play in this season’s Big 12/SEC Challenge on Jan. 30 in Lawrence. Kentucky beat Kansas in two Champions Classic games, including last year’s 32-point walloping in Indianapolis.
Kansas and Kentucky will play in this season’s Big 12/SEC Challenge on Jan. 30 in Lawrence. Kentucky beat Kansas in two Champions Classic games, including last year’s 32-point walloping in Indianapolis. The Associated Press

Kansas plays host to Kentucky in the featured basketball game of this season’s Big 12/SEC Challenge.

The pairings were announced Thursday.

Kansas State will meet Mississippi in Bramlage Coliseum, and Iowa State travels to Texas A&M.

Missouri will not participate in this season’s event, with all games played on Jan. 30. The Tigers and the three other SEC teams left out of the challenge — Alabama, Mississippi State and South Carolina — will play each other in conference games on the same date.

With 10 teams in the Big 12 and 14 in the Southeastern Conference, not all SEC teams get to participate. Georgia, which visits Baylor this season, is playing in the series for the first time. The 10 SEC teams in this season’s event also will participate next year.

Kansas and Kentucky have met in the regular season four times in the previous 10 years and twice in the NCAA Tournament. The Wildcats beat the Jayhawks in two Champions Classic games, including last year’s 32-point walloping in Indianapolis. The Jayhawks won regular-season games at Lexington, Ky., and Lawrence in 2005 and 2006, and the teams split NCAA Tournament meetings, with Kentucky winning the 2012 title over KU.

“The addition of Kentucky to our home schedule makes it one of the more attractive home schedules that we’ve had,” KU coach Bill Self said. “Even though the game is during conference play, I know with Kentucky coming here the interest level will be very high.”

Kansas State is meeting Mississippi for the second time in the Big 12/SEC Challenge. K-State defeated the Rebels in Manhattan, Kan., in 2013.

Because of scheduling conflicts, several days were required to complete the first two series. Big 12 teams have won the majority of games in each of the first two years, going 7-3 in 2013 and 6-4 in 2014.

Kansas, Kansas State and Missouri all have 1-1 records in the series, with the Jayhawks splitting games with Florida. In 2013 K-State defeated Mississippi, and the Tigers beat West Virginia. Last year the Wildcats lost at Tennessee, and Mizzou fell at Oklahoma.

Iowa State is 2-0 with victories over Auburn and Arkansas, both in Ames.

Kentucky is 1-1, falling to Baylor in 2013 and beating Texas last season.

All games in this season’s event will be televised by ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU. Game times will be announced later.

To reach Blair Kerkhoff, call 816-234-4730 or send email to bkerkhoff@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter @BlairKerkhoff.

Big 12/SEC Challenge matchups

▪ Georgia at Baylor

▪ Kentucky at Kansas

▪ Mississippi at Kansas State

▪ Tennessee at TCU

▪ Vanderbilt at Texas

▪ Iowa State at Texas A&M

▪ Oklahoma at LSU

▪ Oklahoma State at Auburn

▪ Texas Tech at Arkansas

▪ West Virginia at Florida

All games Jan. 30; times/TV TBA

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