Mark Fox’s Georgia Bulldogs will play host to the Cincinnati Bearcats in Athens on December 2, 2011 as part of the SEC/Big East Challenge.
The Bearcats will return their top two scorers from last year’s team (Yancy Gates and Dion Dixon), a team that finished 26-9, earning them a 6-seed in the NCAA Tournament. Cincinnati advanced to the third round of the tournament before being eliminated by the eventual national champion Connecticut Huskies.
Georgia’s 2011-2012 out-of-conference schedule just got substantially harder.
The Dawgs can now add the Bearcats to a list of OOC opponents that includes Georgia Tech, @ Southern California, @ Colorado, @ Xavier along with a potential match-up with either Notre Dame, Missouri or California in the 2011 O’Reilly CBE Classic.
By the time the SEC schedule begins in early 2012, Coach Fox’s young Bulldog team should have plenty of experience playing against strong competition.
This will mark the fifth consecutive year for the SEC/Big East Challenge. The two conferences have split the series at 8-8 over the previous four years.
Considering that the Big East is generally perceived by the media as the strongest conference in college basketball year after year (remember, they were given an astounding 11 teams in last year’s tournament), it’s somewhat surprising that they haven’t been able to exude a little more dominance over the “lowly” SEC.