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2022 Big 12/SEC Challenge marks return of former hoops coach Rick Barnes to Austin

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Photo: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The Texas Longhorns have a new head basketball coach in Chris Beard and they will welcome a former coach back to the Frank Erwin Center on Saturday, January 29th.  Announced on Wednesday, the annual Big 12/SEC Challenge basketball matchups were made public.  The pairings feature the Longhorns hosting the Tennessee Volunteers, coached by former Texas head Coach Rick Barnes.

The matchup will mark the return of Barnes, the winningest coach in Texas basketball history, to the Erwin Center for the first time since he was replaced by Shaka Smart and took the same job at Tennessee.

Barnes spent 17 seasons in Austin at the helm of the program, taking the Longhorns to the NCAA tournament 16 times including 3 Sweet 16 appearances. His 2003 team which included TJ Ford, made it to the Final Four before losing to Carmelo Anthony and Syracuse 95-84.

At Tennessee, Barnes boasts a 123–73 record and was named the Naismith College Coach of the Year for the 2018-2019 season after a 31-6 record which included a trip to the Sweet 16.

All games part of the Big 12/SEC Challenge will be broadcast on the ESPN family of networks.


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16 hours ago, tejasrulz said:

I really like Barnes however it was time for him and Texas to start fresh. Unfortunately, Shaka proved to be a bad fit here at Texas.

BTW, I'm going to try and score tickets for this game!

Very similar story as the football team with Mack in my opinion.

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On 6/23/2021 at 10:06 AM, Brad Usrey said:

We should apologize. We really got short end thinking Shaka could carry us tgh o promise land of basketball. 

What, we should apologize for paying Barnes a lot of money for having a lousy last six seasons. No thank you. Just because Shaka was no good doesn't mean that Barnes is the best we can do.

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