No Challenge for Huskies

Pairings for the second annual SEC/Big East Challenge were announced Friday and Connecticut was not part of the package. But don't read anything into that. The Huskies aren't being banned from another tournament. This was just part of the event's rotation.

Louisville and Pittsburgh are the other Big East teams not participating in 2012.

According to ESPN, which televises the event, the two year deal signed prior to the 2011-12 season calls for six games at SEC schools and six at Big East schools. The Big East would choose four schools to play once on the road and once at home, and eight would play twice.

Last season, UConn defeated Arkansas 75-62 at the XL Center in Hartford. UConn and the other two Big East schools reportedly were given ample advance notice that they would not be included in this year's event.

The Challenge will take place Nov. 29-Dec. 1 at home sites. Six of the Big East's 12 participating teams reached the NCAA tournament last season. The SEC has four participating teams that reached the NCAA tournament.

There is controversy over the pairings but not involving UConn. Syracuse athletic director Daryl Gross wrote an email to the Big East saying the Orange are "overcommitted and can't play at this point." Gross initially said Syracuse would not play but he later issued a statement saying all parties are trying to resolve the issues.

Looks as if Syracuse's divorce with the Big East is going to be ugly.

The 2012 SEC/Big East Challenge includes the following matchups:

Thursday, November 29: Kentucky at Notre Dame, Marquette at Florida, South Carolina at St. John's, Seton Hall at LSU

Friday, November 30: Syracuse at Arkansas, Tennessee at Georgetown, DePaul at Auburn, Georgia at USF

Saturday, December 1: Alabama at Cincinnati, Villanova at Vanderbilt, Mississippi State at Providence, Rutgers at Mississippi

The Big East took the first SEC/Big Eat Challenge, winning eight of the 12 games in 2011.


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