The Southeastern Conference and The American Conference are coming together to form a scheduling alliance.
As part of the partnership, four men’s basketball programs from each conference will participate in two-year, home-and-home series that will begin this coming 2019-20 season.
“Men’s basketball in the SEC has been on the rise and this scheduling alliance will help to continue the growth of the sport,” SEC Commissioner Greg Sankey said in a statement. “This will provide four high quality games for both leagues during non-conference play.”
This coming season’s matchups offer up some intrigue.
Memphis and Georgia will meet for the third time in history and first since the 1996-97 season. The game will feature teams with two of the top five recruiting classes in the country as the Tigers have the No. 1-ranked class while the Bulldogs coming in at No. 5 according to ESPN.
Wichita State and Ole Miss will face off for the sixth time and play on campus for the first time since 1997. Each program is 1-1 on its home court with the last matchup coming in 2001, when the Rebels defeated the Shockers in Fairbanks, Alaska.
The University of Houston and South Carolina have met five previous times with the Gamecocks holding a 3-2 edge in the series. The two teams have not met in nearly 30 years with the last matchup coming in December of 1990.
SMU and Vanderbilt have faced off the most of any of the matchups as the Mustangs and Commodores have squared off 21 times in a series that dates back to 1953. Vanderbilt holds a 15-6 all-time series lead.
Both conferences are coming stellar seasons with multiple teams in the postseason.
The SEC had seven teams selected to participate in the NCAA Tournament with four advancing to the Sweet 16 (LSU, Tennessee, Auburn, and Kentucky), two to the Elite Eight (Auburn, Kentucky) and one reaching the Final Four (Auburn).
In the past two years, the SEC has had 15 NCAA Tournament selections and every team in the conference has appeared in the tournament at least one over the previous five years.
The American Conference meanwhile set a conference record in 2019 with seven teams advancing to postseason play, including four NCAA Tournament teams. Three of those NCAA teams won at least one game in tournament with University of Houston advancing to the Sweet 16.
2019-20 SEC/The American Alliance Matchups
Sunday, December 8
Houston at South Carolina
Saturday, January 4
Georgia at Memphis
SMU at Vanderbilt
Ole Miss at Wichita State