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Report: Tennessee set to face Kansas in SEC-Big 12 Challenge

Another big game for the Vols.

NCAA Basketball: NIT Season Tip-Off-Tennessee vs Kansas Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Add another gigantic non-conference matchup to Tennessee’s 2019-20 basketball schedule. According to Jon Rothstein, the Vols will once again take on the Kansas Jayhawks — this time coming in the form of the SEC-Big 12 Challenge.

Tennessee played Kansas in the NIT Tip-Off Tournament last season, falling in overtime after Grant Williams fouled out. This matchup will take place at the Phog Allen Fieldhouse in Kansas.

The Vols won their leg of last season’s SEC-Big 12 Challenge, beating West Virginia at home.

Kansas joins Tennessee’s non-conference schedule now, which already features Wisconsin, Cincinnati, Memphis, Washington and Florida State. The Volunteers will also play either VCU or Purdue, depending on the outcome of their matchup with the Seminoles in the Emerald Coast Classic.

Kansas won 26 games last season, but lost out on a 15th consecutive Big 12 regular season title. Texas Tech took that crown instead on their way to a national title game appearance. The Jayhawks were bounced from the 2019 NCAA Tournament by a hot-shooting Auburn team in the Sweet 16.

Tennessee will be replacing four key starters — Grant Williams, Admiral Schofield, Kyle Alexander and Jordan Bone. That core allowed Tennessee to reach the No. 1 ranking in the AP Poll last season, on their way to a No. 2 seed and a Sweet 16 appearance.

But it’s now a new era of Tennessee basketball, set to be led by senior guards Lamonte Turner and Jordan Bowden. Those two, along with five-star freshman guard Josiah James, will have to really perform for Tennessee to navigate through this tough non-conference slate.