Travis Leslie at 2009 SEC/Big East Invitational
May 19, 2011
ATHENS ----- Georgia will play host to Cincinnati on Friday, Dec. 2 as part of the expanded Big East/SEC Challenge basketball event, it was announced today.
The UGA-UC matchup is one of four games on Dec. 2, the middle day of the three-day event, all of which will be televised live by the ESPN family of networks. The complete schedule of games follows later in this announcement.
"We're very excited to be participating in this great event again," Georgia head coach Mark Fox said. "Cincinnati will certainly prove to be a formidable opponent for our young team, and we are happy to be playing this game in Athens. The move to campus venues, in fact, should give the event a new feature that will be great for fans of both leagues."
This will be the first-ever meeting between Georgia and Cincinnati, both of whom earned at-large berths in the 2011 NCAA Tournament. The Bulldogs finished at 21-12, 9-7 in the SEC, and return two starters: senior guards Gerald Robinson (12.2 ppg, 4.0 apg) and Dustin Ware (8.0 ppg, 3.5 apg, 43.5% 3FG). The Bearcats went 26-9, 11-7 in Big East games, and perhaps just as impressive, compiled an 8-4 record in road games. UC returns its top four scorers from 2011.
This is the fifth year that the SEC and Big East have played each other as a part of an in-season event with the overall series tied 8-8. Previously known as the SEC/Big East Invitational, the first four years of the event (2007-2010) featured four matchups between the two conferences from two neutral sites. For the first time, all 12 SEC schools will play against 12 of the 16 Big East teams, with all games taking place at campus sites.
This will be Georgia's second appearance in this event. The 2010 Bulldogs dropped a 66-56 decision to St. John's in the 2009 Challenge in a game played at Madison Square Garden in New York.
The complete Big East/SEC Challenge schedule follows:
Thursday, Dec. 1
Georgetown at Alabama
Providence at South Carolina
St. John's at Kentucky
Ole Miss at DePaul
Friday, Dec. 2
Cincinnati at Georgia
Auburn at Seton Hall
Florida at Syracuse
Vanderbilt at Louisville
Saturday, Dec. 3
Arkansas at Connecticut
West Virginia at Mississippi State
LSU at Rutgers
Pittsburgh at Tennessee