COLUMBIA, SC - South Carolina is set to face Oklahoma State on the road at Gallagher-Iba Arena in the sixth annual SEC/Big 12 Challenge on Saturday, January 26, 2019, the league office announced late Thursday morning.
All 10 of the Big 12's teams and 10 of the SEC's 14 member institutions will participate in this year's event. Each of the 10 SEC teams that participated in the 2018 Challenge are a part of the 2019 event. The SEC is coming off a 6-4 win in the Big 12/SEC Challenge after a 5-5 tie in 2017.
This nonconference matchup marks the fourth overall meeting between the schools, and the third as a part of the SEC/Big 12 Challenge, with the Gamecocks leading the all-time series 2-1. The programs first met on Dec. 23, 1975, with Carolina winning a 70-61 contest in Columbia. The Cowboys were victorious in the 2013 SEC/Big 12 Challenge in Stillwater, 72-59, Frank Martin's second year as head coach. Carolina won the following year as a part of the challenge, 75-49, in Columbia led by 20 points from Duane Notice.
The Gamecocks welcome back three regular starters from last year's rotation in rising senior Chris Silva, rising junior Maik Kotsar and rising sophomore Justin Minaya. Silva is the reigning SEC Defensive Player of the Year and earned First Team All-SEC honors after averaging 14.3 points, 8.0 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game as a junior in 2017-18. Rising senior guard Hassani Gravett is also back after averaging a team-high 3.6 assists in 25.9 minutes per game.
Oklahoma State is led by former Gamecock player (2000-04) and assistant coach (2008-13) Mike Boynton.
This will be the fourth year that a bye in the league schedule for participating teams was created to accommodate the single-day format. The four SEC teams not participating will play each other in conference games the same day. The first two years of the challenge were played over several days in November and December but the 2019 event will be consolidated to one single day in January.
Four of the 10 games will be televised on ESPN, four on ESPN2 and two games will air on ESPNU. All 10 games will also be available on the ESPN app. ESPN's College GameDay Covered by State Farm – the Saturday roadshow that discusses the top storylines of the college basketball season – will originate from one of the Challenge games.