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SEC College Basketball: SEC, Big East Expand Challenge to 12 Team Field

The Big East and SEC agreed to a two year agreement today to expand the SEC/Big East challenge to a 12 team field for the 2011 and 2012 seasons. The Challenge which has always been played on neutral sites is headed to campus venues as well and will be played the week after Thanksgiving. All 12 SEC schools will compete against 12 of the 16 Big East schools. Matchups and sites will be determined at a later date with the SEC and Big East each hosting six games.

The move is similar to what the ACC and Big Ten did with their challenge and is seen as a way to remain relevant and marketable in a competitive non conference market. Playing the series out over a weekend will make the event easier for fans to follow.

The SEC and the Big East have each won the challenge twice but the new format will be a much better measuring stick for the two conferences against each other as it will include all of the marquee teams.   

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.