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Big 12/SEC Challenge: With draws the past two years, can either conference get an edge?

The Big 12 has never won the Big 12/SEC Challenge but heads into the weekend games with a three-game lead. Can Rennia Davis lead Tennessee to a victory to help the SEC catch up?

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: DEC 01 Women’s Air Force at Tennessee
Rennia Davis leads the No. 17 Tennessee Volunteeers against the Texas Longhorns in the Big 12/SEC Challenge.
Photo by Bryan Lynn/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Big 12/SEC Challenge kicked off on Tuesday, Dec. 4, and will run through the weekend. Before we get into the action, let’s quickly review the recent history of the challenge and how the respective conferences have performed on the national stage.

The Big 12 and SEC have combined for four of the last nine national championships and currently boast a combined eight teams in the AP Poll’s top 25. Seven of those teams come from the SEC and Baylor is the lone representative from the Big 12. The first two Big 12/SEC Challenges featured just two teams from each conference, and each ended in a 1-1 draw. The third challenge featured 10 teams from each conference and the SEC won it, 6-4. The past two seasons have seen the challenge end in draws. With three games of the challenge complete, the Big 12 has a 3-0 lead with seven games yet to be played. Can Baylor help the Big 12 to break with tradition and come out victorious in this year’s Big 12/SEC Challenge?

Big 12/SEC Challenge

Completed games

Tuesday, Dec. 4

No 7. Baylor (8-1) over Georgia (6-3), 72-38

Baylor rebounded from their Paradise Jam loss to South Carolina. Queen Egbo got back to her scoring ways, putting up 20 points and pulling down 11 rebounds to register her fourth double-double this season. The Lady Bears smothered the Lady Bulldogs, holding them to 24 percent shooting from the floor.

Texas Tech (6-0) over Ole Miss (5-4), 84-48

Brittany Brewster, who is sixth in Big 12 scoring, put in 22 points in the victory. Ole Miss, meanwhile, has played two true road games and has failed both tests.

Thursday, Dec. 6

Iowa State (6-1) over Alabama (5-3), 75-66

Iowa State pushed their win streak to five games. Ashley Joens, the Big 12’s leading scorer, did not have her best outing, scoring just 12 points. But her teammates picked up the scoring void. Kristin Scott scored 20 points for the Cyclones for the second time this season and Rae Johnson scored a career-high 17. For the Crimson Tide, Jordan Lewis contributed 20 points for the third time this season.

Upcoming games

Saturday, Dec. 7

No. 23 Arkansas Razorbacks (7-1) vs. Kansas State Wildcats (4-3)

When: 3 p.m. ET

Where: Bud Walton Arena, Fayetteville, AR

How to watch: SEC Network+

Keys to the game: For the Razorbacks, Chelsea Dungee is second in the SEC in scoring, with 21 points per contest. Christianna Carr has scored in double figures in every game this season for Kansas State, averaging 15.6 points. This game represents Kansas State’s first road game while Arkansas looks to extend its undefeated home record.

TCU Horned Frogs (6-0) vs. Auburn Tigers (4-4)

When: 3 p.m. ET

Where: Schollmaier Arena, Fort Worth, TX

How to watch: Horned Frogs TV

Keys to the game: TCU’s Lauren Heard is coming off a season-high 25-point performance in the Horned Frogs’ 77-65 victory over Boise State. The fourth and fifth best SEC scorers play for Auburn — Unique Thompson and Daisa Alexander, who are averaging 17.6 points and 16.6 points per game, respectively.

Oklahoma Sooners (4-4) vs. No. 25 LSU Lady Tigers (7-1)

When: 4 p.m. ET

Where: Lloyd Noble Center, Norman, OK

How to watch: Fox Sports Oklahoma

Keys to the game: Despite their 4-4 record, the Sooners feature two players who average 19 points per game, Ana Llanusa and Taylor Roberts. LSU moved into the AP’s top 25 this week following a Junkanoo Jam title that included a win over then-No. 15 Michigan State. Khayla Pointer leads the Lady Tigers with 14 points per game.

No. 12 Texas A&M Aggies (6-1) vs. Oklahoma State Cowgirls (6-2)

When: 8 p.m. ET

Where: Reed Arena, College Station, TX

How to watch: SEC Network+

Keys to the game: The Aggies dropped to No. 12 from No. 6 after suffering an 80-58 loss at the hands of then-No. 12 Florida State, who went on to claim the No. 6 spot in this week’s poll. Chennedy Carter sits atop the SEC scorer’s table, averaging 21.1 points. The Cowgirls are coming off two large losses — against Oregon and Louisville in the Paradise Jam tournament. Vivian Gray leads the Cowgirls against the former Big 12 Aggies with 18.8 points per game, which is good for fifth in the conference.

Sunday, Dec. 8

No. 17 Tennessee Lady Volunteers (7-0) vs. Texas Longhorns (4-4)

When: 2 p.m. ET

Where: Thompson-Boling Arena, Knoxville, TN

How to watch: ESPN2

Keys to the game: After escaping East Tennessee State 72-68, the Lady Volunteers have won their last five games by double digits and pushed themselves to the 17th spot in the AP top 25. Junior Rennia Davis has started to come into her own, with her scoring and rebounding both up from her sophomore season. Davis is averaging 16 points and 8.6 rebounds. Charli Collier and Joyner Holmes lead the Longhorns with 17.3 and 16.3 points, respectively.

No. 10 Mississippi State Bulldogs (8-1) vs. West Virginia Mountaineers (5-1)

When: 2 p.m. ET

Where: Humphrey Coliseum, Starkville, MS

How to watch: SEC Network

Keys to the game: Mississippi State is coming off its first loss of the season, to now-No. 1 Stanford. West Virginia beat New Mexico in the Cancun Challenge after losing to Creighton. Jessika Carter is leading the Bulldogs in scoring, with 15.1 points per game, which is ninth in the SEC. The Moutaineers, meanwhile, boast the Big 12’s second leading scorer in Kysre Gondrezick.

Kansas Jayhawks (7-0) vs. Florida Gators (6-2)

When: 3 p.m. ET

Where: Allen Fieldhouse, Lawrenceville, KS

How to watch: ESPN+

Keys to the game: Kiara Smith and Lavender Briggs lead the Gators into Allen Fieldhouse each averaging over 13 points per contest. For the Jayhawks, Aniya Thomas (13.2 points) and Holly Kiersgeiter (12.4 points) lead the way in what will be their biggest test so far this season.