Florida to face Kansas in SEC/Big 12 Challenge

By Adam Silverstein
May 7, 2014

Florida Gators basketball’s 2014-15 non-conference schedule is taking shape after information was released on Wednesday about its opponent for the second annual SEC/Big 12 Challenge. It was announced that Florida will face the Kansas Jayhawks for the second-straight season, traveling to Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, Kansas, on Friday, Dec. 5 for the showdown between two major programs.

The Gators played the Jayhawks last season for the first time since 2006 and came away with a 67-61 win at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center in Gainesville, FL. UF’s trip to face KU in Lawrence will be its first since 1994.

A total of 10 games will be played as part of the SEC/Big 12 Challenge from Dec. 3-6, all of which will air on ESPN networks and be available for live streaming both online and on mobile devices. Seeing as the SEC has four more member institutions than the Big 12, not every school is scheduled to play in the event.

Florida has not yet released its complete 2014-15 non-conference schedule, but a variety of other match-ups have already been confirmed.

UF will face a pair of ACC opponents, heading to Tallahassee to take on in-state rival Florida State for the 37th consecutive season and meeting Wake Forest on Dec. 20 in Sunrise as part of the Orange Bowl Basketball Classic (which Florida will compete in for the 14th time in 15 seasons). The Gators and Demon Deacons have not squared off on the hardwood since 2005.

Florida is also expected to host UConn, the 2014 NCAA Champions that defeated UF both in the regular season and Final Four last year, to complete a home-and-home contract. The Gators have flexibility in the contract to push the contest to 2015-16 if necessary but are expected to play the game in 2014.

The fourth annual Battle 4 Atlantis tournament – hosted in Paradise Island, Bahamas, during Thanksgiving weekend – will also feature Florida in a loaded eight-team field that includes Butler, Georgetown, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Wisconsin and UAB.

The Gators will be guaranteed to play at least three of the other programs from Nov. 26-28 at the Imperial Arena (a grand ballroom at the Atlantis Resorts that is transformed into a basketball arena) as the event is a bracket-style tournament with first-, third-, fifth- and seventh-place games. It will be the first time Florida plays in such an exotic setting since UF participated in the Maui Invitational at the start of the 1999-00 campaign.

Florida will be adding additional games to its non-conference schedule in the near future, so stay tuned for updates.

2014 SEC/Big 12 Challenge schedule:

Wednesday, December 3, 2014
Auburn at Texas Tech

Thursday, December 4, 2014
Arkansas at Iowa State
LSU at West Virginia
Baylor at Vanderbilt
TCU at Ole Miss

Friday, December 5, 2014
Florida at Kansas
Texas at Kentucky
Missouri at Oklahoma

Saturday, December 6, 2014
Oklahoma State at South Carolina
Kansas State at Tennessee

* Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi State and Texas A&M will not participate in the 2014 challenge. Arkansas, LSU and Tennessee did not participate in 2013.

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