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Big East/SEC Challenge expands

Villanova was not part of this year's SEC/Big East event, but expect that to change moving forward.

The two conferences announced today that the SEC/Big East Challenge will feature 12 games during the week after Thanksgiving in 2011. Every team from the SEC will be involved against 12 of the 16 Big East teams (or 17 in 2012).

The games will be played at the home sites of six Big East schools and six SEC schools.

From 2007-2010, there were four games played at two neutral sites in doubleheaders in what was called the Big East/SEC Invitational. (Apparently, the SEC gets its name first in the new alignment.)

The matchups for 2011 and 2012 will be determined in advance of the 2011 event.

All the games will be televised on either ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU.

Big East commissioner John Marinatto said, "The past four years of the SEC/Big East Invitational have provided both of our respective fan bases with high quality and exciting matchups prior to the start of our conference regular seasons. We are now pleased to expand the format to offer even more competition, and bring these games to campus sites. Add to the equation the exposure that ESPN provides and you have a truly wonderful event."

Over the four years of the SEC/BIG EAST Invitational, the conferences split the series in 2008 and 2009 and each won one (SEC in 2010 and BIG EAST in 2007).