Kentucky and Kansas University, the two winningest programs in college basketball history with 2,205 and 2,186 victories respectively, will meet for the second straight season in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge, the two conferences announced Tuesday.
KU, which clipped the Wildcats, 90-84 in overtime last Jan. 30 in Allen Fieldhouse, will travel Jan. 28 to Rupp Arena in Lexington. KU is 1-4 all-time in Rupp, 1-7 overall in Lexington. The Jayhawks prevailed in their last trip, 65-59, on Jan. 9, 2005. Overall in the series, which Kentucky leads 22-7, KU has won four of the last seven meetings.
“It’s a great venue with terrific players playing in it,’’ KU coach Bill Self said on ESPN.com. “Our guys will look forward to the Challenge.”
This marks the fourth season of the Challenge and second season all games will be played on the same day. Last year, the Big 12 went 7-3. Overall, the Big 12 is 20-10 in the event. The games will be televised on ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU with game times to be revealed at a later date. ESPN’s College GameDay will originate from a site of one of the day’s games.
The other nine games in the Challenge are: Baylor at Mississippi, Iowa State at Vanderbilt, Kansas State at Tennessee, Florida at Oklahoma, Arkansas at Oklahoma State, Auburn at TCU, Texas at Georgia, LSU at Texas Tech and Texas A&M; at West Virginia. KU is ranked No. 4 and Kentucky No. 3 in ESPN’s current top 25. West Virginia is 15, Oklahoma 18, A&M; 19 and Iowa State 22.
Diallo solidly in first round: Former KU forward Cheick Diallo worked out with the Atlanta Hawks on Monday and according to Zagsblog.com sources, “impressed” the franchise. The Hawks have the No. 21 pick of the June 23 draft. Diallo has signed with agent Bill Duffy.
The Los Angeles Times’ current mock draft has Diallo as Indiana’s choice at No. 20 overall. “Though he’s only 19, Diallo has the ability to be a good defender and rebounder,” the Times’ Broderick Turner wrote this week.
CBSsports.com’s Gary Parrish has Diallo being selected at No. 23 by Boston. “Diallo measured and tested well at the combine — then played well in the five-on-five games. He was active. He rebounded. He guarded. Bottom line, the 6-9 forward genuinely helped himself by reminding scouts why he was once a projected lottery pick. And now it looks like that subpar season at Kansas won’t cost Diallo too much money,” Parrish wrote.
Preston update: Billy Preston, a 6-9 junior power forward from Dallas Advanced Prep who is ranked No. 6 in the Class of 2017 by Rivals.com, recently announced a final four of KU, Arizona, Maryland and USC. However, he tells Rivals.com he may add Kentucky, Texas, Arizona State and Oregon to his list.