Another year, another matchup between Rick Barnes and Bill Self. The Tennessee-Kansas basketball series is something that we’ve grown accustomed to seeing lately, and 2021 will be no exception.
Tennessee and Kansas are reportedly set to see each other in the Big 12-SEC Challenge, which is played annually in late January. Jon Rothstein had the news on Wednesday morning.
Sources: Matchups are set for the 2021 Big 12/SEC Challenge.— Jon Rothstein (@JonRothstein) October 21, 2020
Florida at West Virginia
Texas at Kentucky
Texas Tech at LSU
Kansas at Tennessee
Auburn at Baylor
Iowa State at Mississippi State
Alabama at Oklahoma
TCU at Missouri
Arkansas at Oklahoma State
Texas A&M at Kansas State
Kansas has won the last two meetings in the series, along with four of the last five. The Jayhawks won a thriller in the 2018 Preseason NIT, beating the Volunteers in overtime. They followed that up with another win last season, also as a part of the Big 12-SEC challenge.
This matchup, however, will take place in Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville.
Tennessee has already been picked by many to win the SEC, set to return John Fulkerson, Yves Pons, Santiago Vescovi and Josiah-Jordan James. They’ll add five-star guards Keon Johnson and Jaden Springer, while getting more experienced with transfers Victor Bailey Jr. and E.J. Anosike.
Kansas will, as always, be a major player in the Big 12, but they’ll have to deal with Baylor, who returns a ton of talent for this upcoming season.
Tennessee has yet to release their full schedule for the 2020-21 season. The start of the year has already been pushed back two weeks due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which will change the look of the traditional early season tournaments.
The Volunteers will take part in the Charleston Classic, which will now be played in Orlando.
The first month of the season remains filled with unknowns, but maybe (hopefully?) we’ll have some sense of normalcy back by January.