Saturdays in college basketball just keep getting better and better every week and they took it up a notch with the SEC/Big 12 challenge. Last season, the challenge was tied at 5-5 with a lot of close games. This season, the SEC won 5-4 in what was also a lot of close games.
Kentucky vs Texas was canceled due to COVID-19, so that changed things. The Big 12 leads the overall series 44-35 in an event that started in the 2013-14 season. This SEC/Big 12 challenge was fun to watch and I look forward to many years of good battles in college basketball.
College Basketball: SEC/Big 12 Challenge Results
Florida def. #11 West Virginia
In one of the biggest wins of the day, Florida defeated 11th ranked West Virginia 85-80 to win their fourth straight. Tre Mann, one of the best players in the country, was only held to nine points all game but Colin Castleton stepped up with 21 points along with Noah Locke with 19.
West Virginia got a huge performance from Derek Culver, who had a double-double with 28 points and 12 rebounds. Sean McNeil also stepped up on the bench with 21 points. West Virginia just couldn’t get enough support as two other starters combined for one point. This was just one impressive win that the SEC gathered on Saturday.
#10 Texas Tech def. LSU
This was a tough loss for LSU as Texas Tech stole a 76-71 victory right out from under them. LSU had a seven-point lead with under a minute to go until Mac McClung hit two-straight threes to make it a one-point game with just over 30-seconds left. An inbound pass was thrown away by the Tigers and the rest was history. McClung put in 22 points while Terrance Shannon Jr. records a double-double with 23 points and 10 rebounds.
LSU had a 29 and 25 point performance from Javonte Smart and Cameron Thomas but they also had three players with no points. Texas Tech’s defense came up clutch along with McClung, who has had a great season so far. LSU will look back at the film and realize that they gave away a golden opportunity to upset a top-ten team.
#24 Oklahoma def. #9 Alabama
In one of the best games of the day, Oklahoma pulled out a close 66-61 victory against Alabama. The Crimson Tide came into this game on an impressive ten-game winning streak and certainly climbing up the rankings. Oklahoma put an end to that with several good performances, most notably De’Vion Harmon with his 18 points.
The Sooners’ rebounding helped them gain momentum throughout the game. Alex Reese had 15 points but was 3-10 from three for Alabama. They just needed a couple more of those shots to go in and we’d be talking about an 11-game winning streak. This is Oklahoma’s third-straight win against a top-ten team. Something had to give and it was Alabama’s long winning streak.
#15 Kansas def. #18 Tennessee
Both of these teams have been struggling as of late. Despite both teams winning their last game coming into this one, it hasn’t been pretty. Tennessee was more desperate in this one as they dominated Kansas 80-61. They had three starters with double-digit points and the bench came through.
As for Kansas, David McCormack and Marcus Garrett both had 15 points or more but they didn’t have many other special performances. The defense for Tennessee and the missed opportunities for Kansas just ended this game early. Despite a huge loss for Kansas, they have the coach and the talent to survive and make a run but as for Tennessee, this a big win for a team that needed to string together a couple of wins.
Mississippi State beat Iowa State 95-56
Oklahoma State beat Arkansas 81-77
Texas A&M beat Kansas State 68-61
#12 Missouri beat TCU 2012-98 in OT
#2 Baylor beat Auburn 84-72