ESPN announces ACC/SEC Challenge starting in 2023-24 season
The news leaked this morning and now, it’s official. The Big 12/SEC Challenge is out and the ACC/SEC Challenge is in starting with the 2023-24 season. There will be two events, one in men’s basketball and one in women’s basketball. Each of the 28 games (30 starting in 2025-26) will be carried on an ESPN platform and each conference will host an equal number of home games. Matchups and game times will be announced at a later date. Andy Katz reported this morning that the event will take place the week after Thanksgiving.
ESPN sent out a press release featuring quotes from SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey, ACC Commissioner Jim Phillips, and Nick Dawson, ESPN Vice President of Programming.
“We are excited women’s and men’s basketball student-athletes will have the opportunity to compete with their colleagues from the ACC as we initiate a new Basketball Challenge experience,” said SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey. “I appreciate the collaboration of Jim Phillips and the ACC members, along with our broadcast partner ESPN, to make possible the SEC/ACC Basketball Challenge which will provide our fans with exciting basketball early in the 2023-24 season. I also thank the Big 12 for the many great challenge games we experienced together in past years.”
“The future ACC-SEC Men’s and Women’s Basketball Challenges will be outstanding events for our student-athletes, member institutions and fans,” said ACC Commissioner Jim Phillips, Ph.D. “The SEC, led by Greg Sankey, and our partners at ESPN have been terrific, and there’s great excitement for the first annual ACC/SEC Challenge next season. As part of this announcement, we’d like to acknowledge the Big Ten for its partnership on the ACC/B1G Challenge that spanned more than 20 years.”
“We look forward to showcasing the talented men’s and women’s programs throughout the ACC and SEC in the years ahead through this exciting new collaboration with both conferences,” said Nick Dawson, ESPN Vice President, Programming. “Since establishing the very first interconference challenge in 1999, these events have been a staple of our college basketball schedule for more than two decades. We thank both the Big Ten and Big 12 for their partnership in the final year of our existing events and look forward to finding more ways to creatively partner with both conferences in 2023-24 and beyond.”
The ACC/SEC Challenge will replace the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, which was created in 1999, and Big 12/SEC Challenge, which started in the 2013-14 season. Kentucky’s final Big 12/SEC matchup will take place vs. Kansas at Rupp Arena on January 28. This will be the fifth time the Cats will play the Jayhawks in the event.
A chance for Kentucky vs. Duke in Cameron Indoor Stadium or Rupp Arena? Yes, please.