LSU basketball has very quickly gone from being one of the most exciting sports on campus to one of the least talked about. The Tigers have uncertainty looming over them as probable sanctions from the NCAA await—many have even discussed the possibility of a postseason ban. The firing of Will Wade was met with many different reactions across the country, as well.
When Athletic Director Scott Woodward decided to get ahead of the sanctions and terminate Wade’s contract, he smashed the reset button on the program. The Bayou Bengals managed to bring in an excellent young coach in Matt McMahon, but the expectations around the program are extremely low after the roster was gutted this offseason.
Nevertheless, the show must go on. LSU fans have been buzzing to get back into the Pete Maravich Assembly Center in recent weeks. The season now feels closer than ever with schedules dropping and new games being announced.
LSU basketball learns its fate in the 2023 SEC/Big 12 Challenge
One of the most highly anticipated festivities of the year is always the SEC/Big 12 Challenge. This gives the Tigers and the rest of their SEC foes to gauge where they’re at on the national food chain in interconference play.
The 2022/23 SEC/Big 12 Challenge will be played on January 28, 2023. All 10 of the Big 12’s teams will participate in the challenge, along with 10 of the SEC’s 14 programs. Every contest will be broadcast on the ESPN family of networks (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU).
Here is the full schedule and the times for each game:
- Auburn at West Virginia (11:00 a.m.)
- Alabama at Oklahoma (1:00 p.m.)
- Texas Tech at LSU (1:00 p.m.)
- Iowa State at Missouri (1:00 p.m.)
- TCU at Mississippi State (3:00 p.m.)
- Arkansas at Baylor (3:00 p.m. OR 5:00 p.m.)
- Texas at Tennessee (3:00 p.m. OR 5:00 p.m.)
- Florida at Kansas State (5:00 p.m.)
- Kansas at Kentucky (7:00 p.m.)
- Ole Miss at Oklahoma State (7:00 p.m.)
LSU hasn’t exactly fared well in the competition in the past. The Bayou Bengals have a 2-4 record all-time in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge. The disappointing part of that statistic is the fact that the Tigers have lost many of those games by only a possession or two. Last year, Wade’s red hot team was taken down by Texas Christian University, 77-68.
While the Tigers haven’t found much success in this event, the SEC has dominated in years past. The Southeastern Conference won six of 10 games last year to extend its winning streak over the Big 12 to two in a row. The SEC has lost just one of the past six tournaments. The notorious athletic conference will be looking to extend its streak to three in a row next season. Based on the matchups, the SEC will undoubtedly like its odds.
As for McMahon’s team, few know what to expect in the first games of the season, never mind in January. Hopefully, the now-former Murray State head coach will be able to pick up the baton dropped by Wade and run with it. It must be said that Baton Rouge is a much rowdier place when the Tigers are selling out the Deaf Dome each week.