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Texas MBB to play Georgia in Big 12/SEC challenge

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Shaka Smart and the 'Horns will head to Athens this season.

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Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The 2016-17 non-conference slate is coming together for the Texas Longhorns with a Monday report from CBS Sports that the 'Horns will travel to Athens this season to play the Georgia Bulldogs in the annual Big 12/SEC Challenge. The school confirmed the news not long thereafter and announced the date of the contest as January 28, 2017.

The series began in 2012-13 after the expiration of the Big 12/Pac-12 Hardwood Series that lasted from 2007 to 2010 and pits the 10 Big 12 teams against SEC opponents, with five games at Big 12 sites and five games at SEC sites. Since the 'Horns hosted the Vanderbilt Commodores last season in a game that resulted in an impressive 72-58 win for Texas, head coach Shaka Smart and his team will head on the road this season hoping to help the Big 12 secure a fourth straight overall victory in the series. The Longhorns are now 2-1, with both wins coming at home against Vanderbilt and the road loss coming against the Kentucky Wildcats in a highly-anticipated match up in late 2014 that ultimately turned into a blowout.

Georgia finished seventh in SEC play in 2015-16 with a 20-14 record overall that included one win in the NIT. Head coach Mark Fox's team will have to replace two of the team's top four leading scorers from last season, but leading scorers JJ Frazier and Yante Maten both return and Maten in particular could pose a challenge for Texas because of his big 6'8, 240-pound frame. The Bulldogs will also add top-100 prospect Tyree Crump, a Georgia combo guard, to the roster as part of a three-man recruiting class that ranked 34th nationally, according to the 247Sports Composite team rankings.

The meeting will provide a chance for Texas to even an all-time series that currently stands at 5-6 in favor of Georgia. The teams last met in New York in 2002, a 77-71 victory for the 'Horns.