TCU just announced that the Horned Frogs will travel to Nashville on January 27th to face Vanderbilt in next season’s Big 12/SEC Challenge. This is, by far, the best SEC matchup (in terms of opponent quality) TCU has had since joining the Big 12.
Officially, TCU is 3-1 in Big 12/SEC Challenge games, with wins over Ole Miss, Mississippi State, and Tennessee, while dropping last year’s game to Auburn, 88-80. Vanderbilt finished the 2016-17 season 19-16, losing to Northwestern in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
The game will be televised on an ESPN network channel.
It’ll be interesting to see what the Frogs do in Jamie Dixon’s second year as head coach, but it seems like expectations will be through the roof. If this TCU squad is as good as we expect it to be, cutting its teeth against a team like Vanderbilt will only help get it tournament ready.
You can read the full press release from TCU below:
FORT WORTH, Texas – In the fifth annual Big 12/SEC Challenge, the TCU men’s basketball team will play at Vanderbilt on Saturday, Jan. 27 in Nashville, Tenn.
It will be the sixth-ever meeting between the Horned Frogs (24-15) and the Commodores (19-16). Vanderbilt leads the series 4-1, and won the most recent meeting, 78-55, on Dec. 18, 2004 in Nashville, Tenn. TCU’s win in the series was a 51-49 victory in the first-ever meeting on Dec. 27, 1951.
TCU holds a 3-1 advantage over the SEC in the Challenge. The Frogs defeated Mississippi State, 71-61, on Dec. 5, 2013 and, 61-52, on Nov. 29, 2014 and beat Tennessee, 75-63, on Jan. 30, 2016. This season’s 88-80 loss to Auburn on Jan. 28 was TCU’s first defeat in the Challenge.
TCU is coming off a historical season that resulted in its first postseason tournament championship under first-year coach Jamie Dixon. The Horned Frogs won seven of its last eight games, which included an 85-82 win over No. 1 Kansas, the program’s first-ever win over a top-ranked team, and an 88-56 victory over Georgia Tech to win the National Invitation Tournament. TCU returns its top six scorers, including all five starters from last season.
The Commodores won last season’s Challenge, 84-78, over Iowa State. Vanderbilt finished 10-8 in the SEC and earned a bid to the NCAA Tournament where it lost in the first round to Northwestern, 68-66.
For the third straight year, all 10 games in the Challenge will be played in one day. The game will be televised on either ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU. In addition, ESPN’s College GameDay Covered by State Farm will originate from one of the 10 matchups in the Challenge.
The trophy for the winning conference has never left the Big 12 office as the league is 25-15 (.625) in the Challenge, having won the series its first three seasons while the Big 12 and SEC split the games a year ago (in case of a tie, the trophy stays with the conference that won it the previous campaign). The Big 12 has posted a 53-35 (.603) record in the last two conference challenge series it has played (vs. Pac-10, SEC) dating back to 2007.