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June 1, 2012

Big East - SEC Challenge Matchups Released

PISCATAWAY, N.J. (June 1, 2012) - The Rutgers University men's basketball team will play at Mississippi on Saturday, Dec. 1 in the 2012 SEC-BIG EAST Challenge. The contest versus the Rebels will be televised live on the ESPN Network (ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU) at a time to be determined.

The matchup will mark the first meeting on the collegiate hardwood between Rutgers and Ole Miss. Last season, RU had a 14-18 overall record with the nation's fifth-youngest roster that featured seven freshmen. Twenty of Rutgers' 31 regular season games were played against teams that received postseason bids. Mississippi posted a 20-14 mark in 2011-12 and earned its third-consecutive NIT berth under head coach Andy Kennedy.

The Scarlet Knights are 1-1 in the SEC-BIG EAST Challenge under head coach Mike Rice. In 2010, the Scarlet Knights defeated Auburn 63-54 at the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pa. Last season, RU dropped a 55-50 decision to LSU at the RAC.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (June 1, 2012)The BIG EAST Conference office announced on Friday that the Seton Hall men's basketball team will be one of the league's 12 representatives in the SEC/BIG EAST Challenge for the second straight season. As a part of the event, the Pirates will travel to Baton Rouge, La. for their first-ever meeting with the LSU Tigers on Thursday, November 29.

Last season, SHU dismantled a previously unbeaten Auburn Tigers squad, 81-59, at the Prudential Center for its first-ever win in the challenge.

2012-13 will mark the second consecutive year that men's basketball teams from the BIG EAST and Southeastern conferences will square off in an in-season series under a revised format. The new setup features 12 teams from each conference with games played at home campus sites.

From 2007-2010, the event featured only four teams from each conference, with games held at selected neutral courts.

In 2010, SHU's only other previous appearance in the challenge; Seton Hall dropped a 71-62 decision to Arkansas at Freedom Hall in Louisville, Ky.

LSU is coming off an 18-15 season during which they posted a 7-9 mark during conference play. The Tigers received a #6 seed in the 2012 National Invitational Tournament and fell in their first round game, 96-76, at the University of Oregon.

LSU invaded Piscataway and went home with a 55-50 victory over Rutgers during last year's event.

The BIG EAST holds a 16-12 all-time advantage in the event and doubled-up their Southeastern conference foes in 2011, taking the challenge eight games to four.

2012 SEC/BIG EAST CHALLENGE 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

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