IRVING, Texas – Texas Tech's Big 12/SEC Challenge game at reigning NCAA Final Four participant South Carolina will tipoff at 11 a.m. CT from Colonial Life Arena on Saturday, January 27 and be televised by ESPN2 announced Wednesday by the two conferences and ESPN.
All 10 games of the fifth annual Big 12/SEC Challenge presented by Sonic will be carried by ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU. The Big 12 won the first three challenges and registered a split in last year's event en route to a 25-15 overall record.
Texas Tech and South Carolina square off for the fourth time with the Red Raiders looking to even up the all-time series. The Gamecocks won the initial two meetings during the 1972-73 and 1973-74 seasons. Texas Tech captured an 83-75 decision headed by a 31-point performance by former All-American Mike Russell on Dec. 4, 1976.
The Red Raiders have posted a 2-2 record in the Big 12/SEC Challenge fueled by wins over Auburn on Dec. 3, 2014 and LSU on Jan. 31, 2017. Zach Smith poured in a career-best 25 points on 8-of-10 from the floor and grabbed eight rebounds to spark Texas Tech's 77-64 win over the Tigers last season.
South Carolina is coming off a 26-11 record and secured victories over Marquette, Duke, Baylor and Florida as the No. 7 seed in the NCAA East Regional to claim the program's first NCAA Final Four appearance last season. The Gamecocks graduated their top scorer and rebounder in Sindarius Thornwell who averaged 21.4 points and 7.1 rebounds per game.
Texas Tech is led by second-year coach Chris Beard who led the Red Raiders to an 18-14 record last season. The 18 victories are the third-highest total in program history for a coach during his first season. Texas Tech also won a pair of games against Associated Press Top 10 opponents for the time since the 2007-08 season when Beard served as an assistant under Bob and Pat Knight.
The Red Raiders return their Top 4 scorers from Big 12 action last season in Keenan Evans (16.9 PPG), Zach Smith (11.7 PPG), Niem Stevenson (9.2 PPG) and Justin Gray (8.8 PPG). Smith is a two-time All-Big 12 Honorable Mention pick whereas Evans notched All-Big 12 Third-Team accolades last season.
Texas Tech brings in a talented class of newcomers. Former Top 100 recruits Brandone Francis and Tommy Hamilton IV practiced with the Red Raiders as transfers last season. Texas Tech also signed National Junior College Athletic Association Junior College (NJCAA) standouts Hyron Edwards and Josh Webster. The Red Raiders freshmen class is sparked by Jarrett Culver, Davide Moretti, Malik Ondigo and Zhaire Smith.
Texas Tech ranked 26th in the nation for the largest average attendance increase between the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons. More season tickets have already been sold for 2017-18 than all of last season. Fans are encouraged to purchase season tickets now to reserve the best available seats.
Season tickets are on-sale and feature affordable payment plans for as low as $199. Season tickets can be purchased in person at the Texas Tech Athletics Ticket Office located on the East Side of Jones AT&T Stadium, online at www.TexasTech.com or over the phone at (806) 742-8324. Single-game and mini-plan ticket information will be announced by the Texas Tech Athletics Ticket Office at a later date.
Visit www.TexasTech.com for the latest news and information on the men's basketball program. Fans also can follow the program on its social media outlets by liking TexasTechMBB on Facebook along with following @TexasTechMBB on Twitter and Instagram.
Texas Tech – SEC/Big 12 Challenge History
Date, Matchup, Location
01/27/2018, Texas Tech at South Carolina, Columbia, S.C.
01/28/2017, Texas Tech 77, LSU 64, United Supermarkets Arena
01/30/2016, Arkansas 75, Texas Tech 68, Fayetteville, Ark.
12/03/2014, Texas Tech 46, Auburn 44, United Supermarkets Arena
11/14/2013, Alabama 76, Texas Tech 64, Tuscaloosa, Ala.
2018 SEC/Big 12 Challenge Matchups
Saturday, January 27, 2017
Texas Tech at South Carolina, 11 a.m. CT, ESPN2
Baylor at Florida, 11 a.m. CT, ESPN
Ole Miss at Texas, 1 p.m. CT, ESPN2
Georgia at Kansas State, 1 p.m. CT, ESPNU
Oklahoma at Alabama, 1:15 p.m. CT, ESPN
TCU at Vanderbilt, 3 p.m. CT, ESPN2
Tennessee at Iowa State, 3 p.m. CT, ESPNU
Texas A&M at Kansas, 3:30 or 6 p.m. CT, ESPN
Kentucky at West Virginia, 3:30 or 6 p.m. CT, ESPN
Oklahoma State at Arkansas, 5 p.m. CT, ESPN2