Men’s basketball to play Vanderbilt in Big 12/SEC Challenge

TCU head coach Jamie Dixon talks strategy with his team during a timeout. (Photo courtesy of

TCU head coach Jamie Dixon talks strategy with his team during a timeout. (Photo courtesy of

By Garrett Podell

TCU men’s basketball will play at Vanderbilt Saturday, Jan. 27 in Nashville, Tenn. for the fifth annual Big 12/SEC Challenge.

The matchup will be the sixth meeting between the Horned Frogs (24-15) and the Commodores (19-16). Vanderbilt leads the series 4-1 and won the most recent meeting, 78-55, Dec. 18, 2004 in Nashville. TCU’s win in the series was a 51-49 victory in the first meeting Dec. 27, 1951.

 TCU holds a 3-1 advantage over the SEC in the Challenge. The Horned Frogs beat Mississippi State, 71-61, Dec. 5, 2013 and, 61-52, Nov. 29, 2014. They also won against Tennessee, 75-63, Jan. 30, 2016. This season’s 88-80 loss to Auburn during the Jan. 28 game was TCU’s first defeat by the SEC during a Big 12/SEC challenge, (the loses to Vanderbilt occurred before TCU was part of the Big 12).

 TCU is coming off a historical season that concluded in a postseason tournament championship under first-year coach Jamie Dixon. The Horned Frogs won seven of its last eight games, which included an 85-82 win over No. 1 Kansas, the program’s first-ever win over a top-ranked team, and an 88-56 victory over Georgia Tech to win the National Invitation Tournament. TCU returns its top six scorers, including all five starters from last season.

 The Commodores won their Challenge contest last season, 84-78, against Iowa State. Vanderbilt finished 10-8 in the SEC and earned a bid to the NCAA Tournament where it lost in the first round to Northwestern, 68-66.

For the third consecutive season, all 10 games in the Challenge will be played in one day. The game will be televised on either ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU. ESPN’s College GameDay Covered by State Farm, will be located at one of the 10 matchups in the Challenge that day.

 The trophy for the winning conference has never left the Big 12 as the league is 25-15 (.625) in the Challenge. In case of a tie, the trophy stays with the conference that won it the previous campaign.

The Big 12 has posted a 53-35 (.603) record in the last two conference challenge series it has played against the then-Pac-10 and the SEC dating back to 2007.