Big East, SEC Expand Post-Thanksgiving Basktball Tournament on ESPN

ESPN, the Big East Conference and the Southeastern Conference (SEC) have reached an agreement for 12 members from each of the two conferences to play each other in a men’s college basketball inter-conference Challenge the week after Thanksgiving starting in 2011. ESPN will provide exclusive coverage of all 12 games across ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPNU. The new Big East/SEC Challenge will mark an expansion of the SEC/Big East Invitational, a four-year event from 2007 to 2010 that featured four matchups between the two conferences from two neutral sites.

The new Big East/SEC Challenge format will feature 12 games over three days beginning on the Thursday after Thanksgiving of each year. The 2011 schedule will include four games a day Thursday, Dec. 1 through Saturday, Dec. 3. The event title will alternate to the SEC/Big East Challenge in 2012 and be played Thursday, Nov. 29 through Saturday, Dec. 1.

All 12 games each year will be played at home campus sites with each conference hosting six games a year. SEC teams will alternate home and away games. Twelve of the 16 Big East teams (17 teams in the second year) will participate each year with home, road and no-game assignments determined for 2011 and 2012 in advance of the 2011 event. Matchups, times and network assignments are to be determined.

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