Sooners To Matchup Against Alabama In Big 12/SEC Challenge
NORMAN, Oklahoma - The Big 12 and Southeastern Conferences announced Thursday the matchups for the 2018 Big 12/SEC Challenge. Oklahoma will face Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Saturday, Jan. 27.
For the third straight year, all games in the Challenge will be played in one day. ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU will combine to televise all contests of the fifth annual event matching every Big 12 squad with 10 members from the Southeastern Conference. Each league will host five games. In addition, ESPN's College GameDay Covered by State Farm will originate from a to be determined site of one of the day's matchups.
Oklahoma will face Alabama for the eighth time in program history, owning a 5-2 advantage in the all-time series. The Sooners and Crimson Tide have met five times in the past 20 seasons. OU won the most recent matchup, 82-73, when the two schools opened the 2013-14 season at American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas.
Alabama posted a 19-15 record last season and finished in sixth place in the SEC with a conference record of 10-8. The Tide advanced to the NIT, falling to Creighton in the opening round.
Both the Sooners and Crimson Tide bring in top-25 recruiting classes according to ESPN and Scout.com. The two programs are also featured in FoxSports.com's "Way Too Early Top 25" with Alabama ranked No. 17 while Oklahoma is No. 23.
“We look forward to another year of competing in this great mid-season event,” said Oklahoma head coach Lon Kruger. “Coach Avery Johnson is building an impressive program at Alabama and his team will feature talented, young players. This road matchup is a good test for our team and provides us an opportunity to represent our league.”
The Sooners will make their third-ever trip to Tuscaloosa, where they own a 1-1 record. Alabama won the most recent meeting on its home floor at Coleman Coliseum, 70-55, in 2007.
Oklahoma is 3-1 in the Big 12/SEC Challenge with previous wins over LSU, Missouri and Texas A&M while falling to Florida last season. The Sooners are 8-7 against current SEC teams in the Lon Kruger era, including 6-3 against schools which were SEC members at the time of competition. OU has won six of its last eight games against SEC teams.
As a conference, the Big 12 is 25-15 (.625) in the Big 12/SEC Challenge, having won the series its first three seasons while the two leagues split the games a year ago. 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.
Tip times and specific TV network information for the Big 12/SEC Challenge will be released at a later date.