Razorbacks will face three-time champion Baylor in SEC-Big 12 Challenge

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Arkansas will host Baylor in this year’s edition of the SEC-Big 12 Challenge, the league office announced Thursday and it is a big hurdle.

“Being the reigning and three-time National Champion pretty much sums it up,” Mike Neighbors said in a press release.  “On top of it all, you have Hall of Fame coach Kim Mulkey coming into Bud Walton.”

The game will be played in Fayetteville, marking the second straight year the Razorbacks have hosted a Big 12 opponent in the Challenge (they beat Kansas State last year).

“If that doesn’t get our fans excited, we need to check on them,” Neighbors said. “It’s also a reflection of the fan support over the last three years. This game isn’t even an option if our fans had not been supporting us in the way they have the last three seasons.”

The Hogs’ record in the Challenge is 3-3 and facing the Bears helps Neighbors fill a promise he made to a talented group he’s got for this year’s team.

“We promised this group of kids they would play against the best if they would come to Arkansas, and playing against a national power like Baylor helps us deliver on that promise,” he said. “This is a reflection of what they have done the last three years.

“We know it’s an incredible challenge that early in the season, but this game will prepare us for what promises to be the toughest SEC gauntlet there has been in the last decade.”

The Razorbacks will play in the Challenge for the seventh time, and currently sport a 3-3 all-time record after defeating Kansas State at home last season.

The matchup between Baylor and Arkansas is one of several high-profile contests set to happen in this season’s Challenge, as Baylor is coming off of a season in which it finished third in both the AP and Coaches Polls.

The season before, Baylor won its third National Championship, all of which have come since the turn of the century.

Arkansas, meanwhile, is coming off its best SEC season ever, and was poised to return to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in five years before the Covid-19 pandemic cut the season short. The Hogs finished tied for third in the final SEC standings.

Arkansas holds a decisive edge in the all-time series, owning a 21-7 advantage, including a 10-2 record in Fayetteville. However, Baylor won the most recent matchup between the teams, as the Lady Bears eliminated the Hogs from the 2015 NCAA Tournament in Waco, 73-44.

Official game information and start times will be announced at a later date.

2020 SEC/Big 12 Women’s Basketball Challenge Matchups

South Carolina @ Iowa State
Kentucky @ Kansas State
Alabama @ Oklahoma State
Texas A&M @ Texas
Tennessee @ West Virginia
Baylor @ Arkansas
Kansas @ Ole Miss
Oklahoma @ Georgia
TCU @ Missouri
Texas Tech @ Vanderbilt

Information from Razorback Sports Communications is included in this story.