(Courtesy of Kansas State Athletics)
MANHATTAN, Kan. – A meeting between Kansas State and Texas A&M at Bramlage Coliseum is one of 10 games scheduled between the Big 12 and SEC on Saturday, January 30, 2021, as ESPN and the two conferences announced the eighth annual SEC/Big 12 Challenge on Wednesday morning (October 21).
ESPN will provide coverage of all games on ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU with start times and complete television information to be released later.
“The Challenge series continues to be a great success for both the Big 12 and SEC,” said head coach Bruce Weber.
“It has also become one of the most competitive in the country with the conferences tying for the second time in the last four years in 2020. Texas A&M is another great addition to our schedule and we know that any Buzz Williams-coached team will be difficult opponent to play.”
The two leagues tied for the second time in 2020 with five wins each. The Big 12, which led the nation in non-conference strength of schedule and was second in the NET ranking and overall strength of schedule in 2019-20,
has won four of the seven Challenge series (2014, 2015, 2016, 2019), posting a 40-30 (.571) overall record.
K-State is 3-4 all-time in the Challenge series with all three wins coming at home (Ole Miss in 2013 and 2016 and Georgia in 2018). This will be second meeting with Texas A&M in the Challenge series and the first time since the Aggies posted a 65-53 win at Reed Arena in College Station in the latest meeting on January 26, 2019.
Overall, K-State leads the series, 18-9, including 11-0 at home venues. This will be the eighth non-conference meeting (1960, 1967, 1990, 1993, 2014, 2015, 2019) and the fourth since Texas A&M departed the Big 12 for the SEC in 2012-13. The teams split a home-and-home series in 2014 (K-State, 71-64, in Kansas City) and 2015 (Texas A&M, 78-68, in College Station) before the last meeting in the Challenge series in 2019.
The former league partners met at least once a year from 1997 until 2012 with the Wildcats holding a 13-7 advantage, including an 8-0 mark at Bramlage Coliseum.
Led by second-year head coach and 2020 AP SEC Coach of the Year Buzz Williams, the Aggies return three starters (Savion Flagg, Andre Gordon and Emanuel Miller) from a team that rebounded from a tough start to post a school-record 10 SEC wins en route to a 16-14 overall record in the shortened 2019-20 season. The Aggies were just 6-6 in non-conference play but rallied for a tie for sixth place in SEC play with a 10-8 mark, which included five wins in their last seven outings.
A rising senior, Flagg was second on the team in scoring a year ago, averaging 10.4 points on 41 percent shooting, including 37 from 3-point range, to go with 5.1 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game in starting 29 of 30 games. Miller led the Aggies with 6.3 rebounds per game (and 6.4 points) in 25 starts as a true freshman, while fellow rookie Gordon added 6.3 points and 2.1 rebounds averages in 18 starts.
This will be the second scheduled meeting with a former conference rival in 2020-21, as the Wildcats are set to play Colorado on Friday, November 27 in the Little Apple Classic at Bramlage Coliseum.
The remainder of the 2020-21 schedule will be released as it becomes official.
SEC / Big 12 Challenge
Auburn at Baylor
Iowa State at Mississippi State
Kansas at Tennessee
Texas A&M at Kansas State
Alabama at Oklahoma
Arkansas at Oklahoma State
TCU at Missouri
Texas at Kentucky
Texas Tech at LSU
Florida at West Virginia