Arkansas to host West Virginia in Big 12/SEC Challenge

By: Scottie Bordelon Scottie Bordelon's Twitter account
Published: Wednesday, June 23, 2021
West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins shouts during the first half of a second-round game against Syracuse in the NCAA men's college basketball tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Sunday, March 21, 2021, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)
West Virginia head coach Bob Huggins shouts during the first half of a second-round game against Syracuse in the NCAA men's college basketball tournament at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, Sunday, March 21, 2021, in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

FAYETTEVILLE — Arkansas basketball’s matchup in the upcoming Big 12/SEC Challenge is an intriguing one.

The Razorbacks are scheduled to play West Virginia at Bud Walton Arena on Jan. 29, 2022, the SEC announced Wednesday.

The programs have met only once, in November 2006 in the championship game of the Old Spice Classic in Orlando, Fla. Arkansas won the game 71-64.

West Virginia finished the 2020-21 season at 19-10 overall and 11-6 in Big 12 play. Led by coach Bob Huggins, the Mountaineers earned a No. 3 seed in the NCAA Tournament but fell to Syracuse 75-72 in the second round.

In his illustrious 40-year career, Huggins is 2-1 against Arkansas, each game coming during his tenure at Cincinnati. The Razorbacks defeated the Bearcats 84-75 at the Rainbow Classic in Honolulu in December 1994, lost 82-67 at Bud Walton Arena in December 1995 and lost 92-57 at Cincinnati in January 1997.

The game will also mark the return of former Razorback Gabe Osabuohien, who was dismissed from the program by Arkansas coach Eric Musselman in August 2019. A native of Toronto, Osabuohien played in 54 games with the Razorbacks, starting eight during the 2018-19 season.

He averaged 1.1 points and 1.4 rebounds per game in a limited role as a freshman at Arkansas. As a sophomore, he contributed 3.1 points and 3.2 rebounds per game. In two seasons, Osabuohien shot 34% from the floor and 17.6% from three-point range.

Since transferring to West Virginia, Osabuohien has averaged 2.4 points on 35.5% shooting, 4.3 rebounds and 1.3 steals per game over two seasons.

Arkansas has been part of the challenge eight times, alternating home and away games each season. The Razorbacks are 3-4 overall with home wins over Texas Tech (2016), Oklahoma State (2018) and TCU (2020), and road losses at Iowa State (2015), Oklahoma State (2017 and 2021) and Texas Tech (2019).

Each of the 10 SEC teams participating in the 2022 Big 12/SEC Challenge will take part in the event in 2023, according to a release.

Other games in the challenge next year are scheduled to include Baylor at Alabama; Oklahoma at Auburn; Oklahoma State at Florida; Kentucky at Kansas; LSU at TCU; Kansas State at Ole Miss; Mississippi State at Texas Tech; Missouri at Iowa State; and Tennessee at Texas.

Arkansas' known 2021-22 nonconference schedule

Nov. 22-23 — Hall of Fame Classic* (Kansas City, Mo.)

Dec. 1 — UCA

Dec. 11 — Oklahoma (Tulsa)

Dec. 21 — Elon

Jan. 29 — West Virginia (Big 12/SEC Challenge)

*Arkansas will play two games against Illinois, Cincinnati or Kansas State

Discussion

Have a comment on this story? Join the discussion or start a new one on the Forums.