Nothing like playing the defending national champion to add to what was already looking-like an excitement filled 2011-2012 Razorback basketball season.
That's what new Arkansas head coach Mike Anderson and his first Razorback team will do on Dec. 3 when it travels to face defending national champion UConn in either Gampel Pavilion in Storrs, Conn or the XL Center in Hartford.
The Razorbacks and Huskies will tangle as part of the expanded fifth annual Big East-ACC challenge, which will now features all 12 SEC team and a dozen of the 16 Big East squads.
"Playing against the defending National Champions on their home court is the ultimate challenge," Anderson said in a press release. "This is a great opportunity and allows us to find out a lot about our team early in the year."
While UConn loses star guard Kemba Walker, the Huskies will still return key performers from the title game in Jeremy Lamb, Shabazz Napier, Alex Oriahki, Niels Giffey and Tyler Olander while adding in 2011 prep star Ryan Boatright.
Anderson said earlier in an interview that he is looking forward to the Razorbacks participating in games against elite opponents as he guides the program back toward elite status.
"We are going to play an exciting brand of basketball and that means that television networks are very interested in matching us up with some other big-time programs in games that will generate a great deal of excitement.
"We will end up playing a great schedule and we'll play anyone as long as the series is a home-and-home one," Anderson added. "With the young me we have in the program and the ones we are added, we are going to be back to being considered one of the elite national programs very soon."
The game could possibly pose a scheduling conflict for Razorback fans, but it would be one they would be glad to have as the Arkansas-UConn game is schedule for the same night as the SEC Football Championship game in Atlanta.
Arkansas participated in its first Big East/SEC Challenge last season when it downed Seton Hall 71-62.
Delvon Johnson had a near triple double in that game with 12 points, 10 rebounds and 8 blocked shots.
2011 BIG EAST/SEC CHALLENGE
Thursday, Dec. 1
?Georgetown at Alabama?
Providence at South Carolina?
St. John's at Kentucky?
Ole Miss at DePaul
Friday, Dec. 2
?Auburn at Seton Hall
?Florida at Syracuse?
Cincinnati at Georgia?
Vanderbilt at Louisville
Saturday, Dec. 3
?Arkansas at Connecticut?
West Virginia at Mississippi State
?LSU at Rutgers?
Pittsburgh at Tennessee
Arkansas to face UConn
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