Iowa State men’s basketball: Florida, Kentucky not in play for Big 12/SEC Challenge


The Iowa State Cyclones will see an increase in challenge for next season’s annual Big 12/SEC Challenge game, but it won’t be against the southern conference’s elite.

Dec 2, 2013; Ames, IA, USA; Iowa State Cyclones forward Melvin Ejim (3) shoots a jump shot over center Asauhn Dixon-Tatum (0) of the Auburn Tigers at James H. Hilton Coliseum. The Cyclones beat the Tigers 99-70. Mandatory Credit: Reese Strickland-USA TODAY Sports

Chris Williams of Cyclone Fanatic reports that neither the Florida Gators or Kentucky Wildcats will be the opponent, but it will be an opponent of tougher difficulty.

"I’m hearing that Iowa State will NOT be playing Kentucky or Florida in the SEC/Big 12 Challenge this year, however the Cyclones could be moving up in the ranks to play an opponent better that originally thought."

Iowa State played Auburn last season and nearly put up a century on them. The Tigers were also one of the worst teams in the SEC, finishing at 14-16 overall — 3rd-worst in the conference.

The Cyclones will be heading out on the road since they played at home last season. So the question is, which school will the team likely visit?

Since we know it’s an upper tier team that doesn’t include the top two that made it to this past season’s Final Four, I think the following schools are in play: Tennessee, Arkansas, and Missouri.

Obviously, the most intriguing game would be a matchup at Missouri — it’s close enough where all sorts of fans would make the quick trek to a state below us and it’s a reunion of former Big 12 schools. A game at a legendary school like Tennessee would also be awesome to see.

Arkansas would be the toughest matchup, mainly due to the atmosphere at that place. We’ve seen plenty of teams — for example, Texas — head down there and struggle mightily.

Of course, there’s other schools in play like Georgia, Ole Miss,  and LSU. But I’d my short list of three are the best candidates.

What are your thoughts? Would school would like to see Iowa State play in the Big 12/SEC Challenge?