Auburn hoops to play at TCU in SEC/Big 12 Challenge

AUBURN, Ala. ( – Auburn Basketball will appear in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge for the fourth consecutive season when it plays at TCU on Jan. 28, 2017.

The fourth annual event matches all 10 of the Big 12 members against 10 of the 14 teams from the Southeastern Conference. Each conference will host five games with the network assignments and tip times to be announced at a later date.

“It is an honor to play in such a prestigious event, to represent the SEC and to be on ESPN,” said Auburn head coach Bruce Pearl. “It has been 20 years since we have faced TCU, and it will be a great chance for our fans in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex to support us.

“This challenge brings our program national attention as the entire nation is watching the SEC and Big 12 on this day in January.”

The Tigers played host to Oklahoma State last season after playing at Iowa State in 2013-14 and at Texas Tech in 2014-15.

Auburn owns a 2-1 series edge against TCU with the teams last playing in the 1996 Big Island Invitational in Hilo, Hawaii, an 86-66 TCU win. The Tigers won the first two meetings, defeating the Horned Frogs, 75-63 in the 1957 Birmingham Classic first round and 80-79 in the 1966 Mobile Invitational championship game.

Seven of the 10 games will be televised on ESPN or ESPN2, one game on ESPN2 or ESPNU and two games will air on ESPNU. All 10 games will also be available via WatchESPN.

Pearl is 2-2 all-time in SEC challenges, defeating Marquette in 2008 and winning at No. 3 Pittsburgh in 2010 in the SEC/Big East Challenge while at Tennessee in addition to playing at Texas Tech and facing Oklahoma State in two years at Auburn.

Pearl beat Dixon, who is entering his first year as TCU’s head coach, as part of the 2010 Big East/SEC Challenge when they were at Tennessee and Pittsburgh, respectively.

ESPN’s College GameDay Covered by State Farm – the Saturday roadshow that discusses the top storylines of the college basketball season – will originate from one of the Challenge games, to be announced at a later date.

Ten teams competed in the 2016 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship.

The first two years of the challenge were played over several days in November and December but the 2016 event was consolidated to a common play date on January 30 and then January 28, 2017. A bye in the league schedule for participating teams was created to accommodate the new format.

Auburn will play in the 2016 Cancun Challenge Nov. 22-23 along with No. 15/13 Purdue, Texas Tech and Utah State. The Tigers will also play in the inaugural Under Armour “Reunion” in New York City’s Madison Square Garden against Boston College on Dec. 12.


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