Throw another big time non-conference game on Tennessee’s basketball schedule for 2018-19. The Vols will already face Gonzaga, Memphis, Georgia Tech and Wake Forest — along with whoever the Preseason NIT Tournament throws at them.
Now, you can add the West Virginia Mountaineers to that list. Tennessee will take on West Virginia in Knoxville on January 26th as a part of the Big 12/SEC challenge.
Here’s a look at the full schedule for that day.
2019 SEC/BIG 12 CHALLENGE— Jeff Goodman (@GoodmanESPN) May 24, 2018
(January 26, 2019)
Alabama at Baylor
Arkansas at Texas Tech
Florida at TCU
Texas at Georgia
Kansas at Kentucky
Iowa State at Ole Miss
South Carolina at Oklahoma State
West Virginia at Tennessee
Kansas State at Texas A&M
Vanderbilt at Oklahoma
For reference, West Virginia checked in at No. 17 in Gary Parrish’s way-too-early top 25. The Vols, of course, checked in at No. 3.
Tennessee took on Iowa State in Ames last year, coming away with a blowout win that was never all that close. With their SEC regular season title last year and lofty expectations coming into this year, Tennessee received a bump up the matchup totem pole. The Cyclones will head to Ole Miss to take on Kermit Davis’ Rebels this season.
Kentucky will host Kansas during the challenge, which will likely end up being the main game of interest during the day.
The SEC ended up winning the challenge last season 6-4, thanks to Kentucky’s late upset of West Virginia.