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Tennessee’s Opponent For The Big 12/SEC Challenge Announced

Texas basketball will make a return trip to Knoxville for this year’s Big 12/SEC Challenge after the Vols traveled to Austin for last year’s matchup. Tennessee hosts the Longhorns on Jan. 28. Tip-off time has not been announced.

The matchup marks the second time Tennessee has faced Texas in the nine years of the event and the first time the Vols have played the same opponent in back-to-back years.

Making his first return trip to Austin since his 17 years as head coach, Rick Barnes and the Vols fell to Texas, 52-51.

Tennessee trailed by as many as 17 points with just under seven minutes to play before the Vols used a 19-2 run to pull even with Texas in the final two minutes. The Longhorns took a two-point lead at the foul line and an open Josiah Jordan James — who scored eight points in the final push — triple rattled out at the buzzer.

“We executed our out of bounds play,” Barnes said. “We were planning on bringing it to halfcourt because we did not think they would let us run by them like we did. I told Zakai when it comes in, if you got it, you go. If I don’t think you got it, you don’t worry about a timeout— I’ll call it. We couldn’t have asked for a better look. Zakai and the force we played with at the end. His force — all those guys out there at the end — did a terrific job.”

Texas returns a handful of key contributors from its 22-12 (10-8 Big 12) NCAA Tournament team a season ago and landed Big 12 Freshman of the Year Tyrese Hunter in the transfer portal this offseason.

Tennessee is 5-3 in the eight previous Big 12/SEC Challenge matchups including wins over Kansas and West Virginia.

Here is the complete schedule for this year’s Big 12/SEC Challenge.

The matchup likely rounds out Tennessee’s premier non conference matchups for the 2022-23 season.

Tennessee will play a true road game at Arizona, neutral site matchups against Maryland (Brooklyn), Colorado (Nashville) and three matchups at the Battle4Atlantis. Hosting Texas at Thompson-Boling Arena rounds out a strong non conference slate.

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