Matt Jones has been the online sports editor for the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette since 2010. He is also a feature writer for Hawgs Illustrated magazine and is currently pursuing a Masters degree in journalism.
Reports: SEC/Big East basketball challenge won't be renewed
NWA Media/MICHAEL WOODS -- 11/30/2012-- Arkansas guard BJ Young tries to get past past Syracuse defender James Southerland during the first half of Friday night's game at Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville
FAYETTEVILLE An annual series of basketball games between schools from the Southeastern Conference and Big East won't be renewed, according to multiple reports.
The SEC/Big East Challenge was played for the sixth time earlier this season. The event began as an invitational matchup of four teams from each conference at neutral sites but expanded to include the maximum number of schools the last two seasons - 12 last year and 14 this year because of SEC expansion.
"This was the final year of our contract for a basketball invent involving the Big East Conference," SEC spokesman Craig Pinkerton wrote in an email to AL.com. "Playing an event such as the SEC/Big East Challenge has provided a great opportunity to highlight our teams as well as the sport early in the season. We are continuing to explore our options for continuing an event like this."
Arkansas played four Big East teams as part of the event, with all games coming the last four seasons. The Razorbacks were 1-3 in those contests with their only win coming over Seton Hall in Louisville, Ky. in December 2010.
In its first time to host a game in the event, Arkansas lost to Syracuse earlier this season. The Razorbacks also lost games to Louisville in St. Louis in 2009 and at Connecticut last season.