Florida Gators basketball’s 2015-16 non-conference schedule is taking shape after information was released on Thursday about its opponent for the third annual SEC/Big 12 Challenge. It was announced that Florida will host the West Virginia Mountaineers at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center in Gainesville, Florida, on Jan. 30, 2016.
Florida went head-to-head with Kansas during the first two incarnations of the challenge, going 1-1 against the Jayhawks. The Gators are 4-3 all-time against the Mountaineers with the teams not having played since the 2003-04 campaign.
A total of 10 games will be played as part of the SEC/Big 12 Challenge, which this season will all take place on a single day as opposed to over a three-day span. Every game will be televised, eight on ESPN or ESPN2 and two on ESPNU, and available for live streaming both online and on mobile devices. Seeing as the SEC has four more member institutions than the Big 12, not every school is scheduled to play in the event.
Florida has not yet released its complete 2015-16 non-conference schedule, but a variety of other match-ups have already been confirmed. The UF-WVU game will be held during the league schedule with a special bye week created in order to fit the contest in.
The Gators will open the 2015-16 campaign against Navy in the 2015 Veterans Classic on Friday, Nov. 13 in Annapolis, Maryland. UF will also participate in the 2015 Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament, which includes two home games (North Carolina A&T – Nov. 16, Vermont – Nov. 25) and two neutral-site contests (Saint Joseph’s – Nov. 21, Old Dominion/Purdue – Nov. 22).
It has also been announced that Florida will return to the 2015 Orange Bowl Basketball Classic for the 15th time in 16 seasons, and UF will play at Miami as the second of a home-and-home game that saw the Canes come to Gainesville during the 2014-15 campaign.
Furthermore, Florida and Michigan State are reportedly discussing a home-and-home series for the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons.
2016 SEC/Big 12 Challenge schedule:
Texas Tech at Arkansas
Oklahoma State at Auburn
West Virginia at Florida
Georgia at Baylor
Kentucky at Kansas
Oklahoma at LSU
Ole Miss at Kansas State
Tennessee at TCU
Iowa State at Texas A&M
Vanderbilt at Texas
* Alabama and Mississippi State will not participate in the challenge for the second consecutive season. Missouri and Ole Miss will not play games in the event either with all four pairing off for contests on Jan. 30.