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Texas to face Tennessee and Rick Barnes in Big 12/SEC Challenge

The former Longhorns head coach returns to Austin for the first time.

NCAA Basketball: Kentucky at Tennessee Randy Sartin-USA TODAY Sports

The winningest coach in Texas Longhorns program history will play in the Erwin Center for the first time since departing Austin in 2015 as Rick Barnes and the Tennessee Volunteers were paired in the Big 12/SEC Challenge.

The ninth annual event that pairs every Big 12 team with 10 teams from the SEC on Saturday, Jan. 29 on ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPNU.

Barnes served as the head coach on the Forty Acres from 1998 to 2015, a stretch of 17 season during which he compiled an overall record of 402-180 (.691). The 16 NCAA Tournament appearances under Barns included a Final Four appearance in 2003, three Elite Eight appearances, and five trips to the Sweet 16.

Pairing Texas and Tennessee in the Big 12/SEC Challenge will allow the schools to break a 3-3 deadlock in the all-time series and marks the first game between them since a 97-78 win for the Longhorns in the championship game of the StubHub! Legends Classic in Newark, N.J.