2023 Big 12/SEC Challenge Preview

Image Courtesy: Alabama Athletics

January 28
12.Iowa State at. Missouri (Big 12/SEC Challenge)
New Missouri head coach Dennis Gates has been a terrific hire for the tigers based off of almost the first three months of his regular season tenure. But, they will have to face Iowa State, a team near the top of the Big 12 standings coming off of a win over top five Kansas State. Missouri was blitzed by Kansas in Columbia and will look for a better performance at home against the Cyclones. Projected Score: Iowa State 75, Missouri 70

2.Alabama at. Oklahoma (Big 12/SEC Challenge)
I don’t know if there has been a better team in the country in Alabama (18-2, 8-0 SEC) or player Brandon Miller (Almost 20 points per game). While Oklahoma has not been bad in a tremendous Big 12, it is going to be a tough one at home as having to deal with Miller, Mark Sears (14 points per game), and Charles Bediako (6 rebounds, 2 blocks per game) inside. Sooners guard Grant Sherfield has been one of the best offensive players in the country while averaging almost 17 points a game. Veteran forwards Tanner and Jacob Groves will have to step up if they want to beat the Tide after their worst performance of the season against Mississippi State on Wednesday. Projected Score: Alabama 82, Oklahoma 74

Arkansas at. 17.Baylor (Big 12/SEC Challenge)
Baylor comes in after a huge win at home against Kansas in Waco on Monday night. They raced out to a big early lead and withstood every Kansas attempt to even the game with quality three point looks. Star freshman Keyonte George leads the Bears in scoring with almost 17 points a game, while point guard Adam Flagler leads them in assists at 5. Arkansas comes into Waco as winners of two straight. Despite offensive struggles the past few games, Ricky Council (17 points per game) has paced the hogs this season on that side of the ball. Devo Davis has been huge for the hogs the last week and a half. The hog veteran has been incredible shooting from the three-point line after a tough start from deep to start the season and on defense against the opposing team’s best player. If Arkansas survives the opening minutes, this game should be close. Projected Score: Baylor 82, Arkansas 79

10.Texas at. 4.Tennessee (Big 12/SEC Challenge)
ESPN’s College GameDay makes its first campus trip this season to Knoxville for a huge top ten battle in Knoxville. Tennessee head coach Rick Barnes faces the Longhorns for the second time in two seasons after getting fired in Austin following the 2014-2015 season. Tennessee’s guards Zakai Ziegler (11 points and 5 assists per game) and Santiago Vescovi (12 points per game) make the Vols go while Texas’ Marcus Carr (18 points and 4 assists per game) has kept the ‘Horns afloat since the firing of Chris Beard. This game has potential to be the game of the year in college basketball, and I cannot wait. Projected Score: Tennessee 77, Texas 73

9.Kansas at. Kentucky (Big 12/SEC Challenge)
Despite being a top ten team, former AP number one ranked Kansas has lost three consecutive games in a tough Big 12. Kentucky, after opening the season in the AP top five, struggled up until the last few weeks. Since the Wildcats have gone on a four game win streak and have beaten top ten Tennessee, Georgia, Texas A&M, and Vanderbilt. If Kentucky wins this game, they will send a message that they, are a team that can compete for a national championship again. Projected Score: Kentucky 81, Kansas 78

By Carter Huff

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