ESPN officially announced the field for the 2012 SEC/BIG EAST Challenge on Friday, and the Florida Gators are set to play the Marquette Golden Eagles at the Stephen C. O’Connell Center in Gainesville, FL on Nov. 29 as part of the three-day event.
Undergoing a format change in 2011, the SEC/BIG EAST Challenge now features 12 games in on-campus arenas rather than four total games at two neutral sites, which is how the former SEC/Big East Invitational was formatted from 2007-10.
The 2012 event will last from Nov. 29 to Dec. 1 with six games played at the home arenas of teams from each conference. Neither the SEC nor the Big East, which have expanded to 14 and 17 teams respectively, will have all of their schools competing.
Florida is a combined 0-2 since the SEC and Big East began squaring off in 2007, falling 85-73 to Syracuse in Tampa, FL on Dec. 10, 2009 and losing again to the Orange 72-68 in Syracuse, NY on Dec. 2, 2011.
UF is 1-2 all-time against Marquette after defeating MU for the first time in school history 68-56 in the Sweet 16 of the 2012 NCAA Tournament in Phoenix, AZ on March 23.
The Gators are already scheduled to participate in two additional in-season competitions: the renamed Global Sports Main Event and the Orange Bowl Basketball Classic. UF will host Alabama State (Nov. 11), Savannah State (Nov. 20) and Central Florida (Nov. 23) as part of the former event (one additional game will be scheduled) but does not yet have an opponent for the OBBC on Dec. 29 in Sunrise, FL.
Florida is also set to host Wisconsin on Nov. 14, Southeast Louisiana on Dec. 19 and Richmond at a to-be-determined date. The Gators will take on Florida State, Arizona and Yale on the road and will also face Kansas State in Kansas City, MO.
2012 SEC/BIG EAST Challenge
Kentucky at Notre Dame
Florida vs. Marquette
South Carolina at St. John’s
LSU vs. Seton Hall
Arkansas vs. Syracuse
Tennessee at Georgetown
Auburn vs. DePaul
Georgia at South Florida
Alabama at Cincinnati
Vanderbilt vs. Villanova
Mississippi State at Providence
Mississippi vs. Rutgers
All games will be televised on ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU as well as ESPN3.com.