COLLEGE STATION - With anticipation building for the Aggies' first season in the Southeastern Conference, the Texas A&M men's basketball team announced its 2012-13 SEC schedule on Friday.
"It will be an exciting home schedule with national champion Kentucky coming to Reed Arena," Texas A&M head coach Billy Kennedy said. "We are looking forward to the challenge of new opponents."
All 18 of the Aggies' SEC games in 2012-13 will be broadcast by either the ESPN family of networks, FSN or the SEC Network.
SEC play comes to Reed Arena for the first time on Wednesday, Jan. 9, when the Aggies renew rivalries with old Southwest Conference foe Arkansas in an ESPNU-televised contest.
The two schools have a long history against one another on the basketball court, playing 147 times overall and as recently as 2010 when the Aggies defeated the Razorbacks 71-62 in overtime at Dallas' American Airlines Center. As members of the SWC, the two schools met annually from 1923-1991 when Arkansas moved to the SEC.
The Razorbacks and Aggies will also close out the regular season on Saturday, March 9, with a contest at Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville, Ark., which will also be shown on ESPNU.
Texas A&M's first road trip in the new league will be a memorable one as the Aggies travel to Lexington, Ky., to face defending national champion Kentucky on Saturday, Jan. 12. The SEC Network will bring Aggie fans all the action from UK's historic Rupp Arena which will be the first meeting between the Aggies and Wildcats on the hardwood since 1978.
Kentucky returns the favor and pays a visit to College Station on Saturday, Feb. 2, when the Wildcats face the Aggies in a nationally-broadcast ESPN contest.
ESPN2 comes to Aggieland on Thursday, Jan. 17, when Texas A&M returns to Reed Arena to host Florida, which made a run to the Elite Eight last spring. The two schools have met only three times before, including a match-up in Sunrise, Fla., on Dec. 17 of last season.
Concluding a stretch of three straight contests against NCAA Tournament teams from a year ago, the Aggies travel to Tuscaloosa, Ala., on Saturday, Jan. 19, to face Alabama in a match-up that will be carried on FSN. The Aggies and Crimson Tide have faced off nine previous times as recently as 2008.
For the first time as conference partners, LSU and Texas A&M will renew rivalries on the court on Wednesday, Jan. 23, when the Aggies travel to Baton Rouge for a contest inside the Maravich Assembly Center. The Tigers will travel to College Station on Wednesday, March 6, for their first appearance in Aggieland since 2008. Both A&M-LSU contests will be broadcast by the SEC Network.
On Saturday, Jan. 26, the Georgia Bulldogs will pay a visit to Reed Arena for their first-ever meeting with the Aggies during a contest that will be televised by FSN. Texas A&M will make a return trip to Athens, Ga., on Saturday, Feb. 9, when ESPNU will show all the action from UGA's Stegeman Coliseum.
Texas A&M travels to Mississippi State on Wednesday, Jan. 30, for a mid-week tilt against the Bulldogs at Humphrey Coliseum which will be webcast on ESPN3. The two schools have met just three times on the hardwood, but are not unfamiliar with one another as the teams faced off last season on Nov. 17 at New York City's Madison Square Garden during the 2K Sports Classic.
Missouri, Texas A&M's former Big 12 runningmate and newest SEC partner, will pay a visit to Reed Arena on Thursday, Feb. 7, for a contest that will be televised by ESPN2. The Aggies and Tigers have faced each other annually since 1997.
The Ole Miss Rebels visit Aggieland for the first time on Wednesday, Feb. 13, in a contest that will be webcast live on ESPN3. Texas A&M and Ole Miss have faced each other just once before in men's basketball during a contest on Dec. 30, 1972, in Oklahoma City that resulted in a 100-83 Aggie victory. Texas A&M will make a return visit to Oxford's Tad Smith Coliseum on Wednesday, Feb. 27. The season's second match-up between the Aggies and Rebels will also be shown by ESPN3.
You have to go back even further in the record books to find the last meeting between Vanderbilt and Texas A&M on the hardwood, which came during a Vandy win in Nashville on Dec. 3, 1955. The Commodores and Aggies face off for just the second time ever on Saturday, Feb. 16, when A&M travels to Memorial Gymnasium in Nashville for an FSN-televised contest.
The Aggies hit the road on Wednesday, Feb. 20, for a mid-week contest against Auburn, which will be televised by ESPN3. A&M holds a 3-2 lead in the all-time series with the Tigers, which has featured a game as recently as 2006.
Tennessee is Texas-bound for a clash with the Aggies at Reed Arena on Saturday, Feb. 23, in a contest that will be shown on the SEC Network. UT and A&M have faced off only five times before on the basketball court, the last coming in Knoxville during the 2003-04 campaign.
Saturday, March 2, will mark the first-ever meeting between Texas A&M and South Carolina as the Gamecocks make a visit to Reed Arena for a contest that can been seen nationally on ESPNU.
The SEC Championship is slated for March 13-17 at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville, Tenn. The tournament's semifinals and championship game will be broadcast nationally on ABC. The SEC Network will televise the tournament games on Wednesday and Thursday in addition to the Friday night games. ESPNU will televise the two afternoon games on Friday at the tournament which this year will be played March 13-17 in Nashville, Tenn.
Texas A&M is currently completing the final details of its non-conference schedule, which should be released in the coming weeks.