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Florida to host Baylor in 2018 SEC-Big 12 Challenge

The Gators get another top-tier Big 12 foe.

NCAA Basketball: Arkansas at Florida Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Florida Gators will host the Baylor Bears on Saturday, January 27, 2018, in the latest edition of the SEC-Big 12 Challenge, ESPN announced Thursday.

Baylor is coming off a Sweet Sixteen trip in 2017, having fallen to the same South Carolina Gamecocks that ended the Gators’ NCAA Tournament run in Madison Square Garden. The Bears were powered by junior Johnathan Motley in 2016-17, but Motley has entered the 2017 NBA Draft and hired an agent, so he will not be with Scott Drew’s team in 2017-18.

However, Baylor is likely to be a strong team again in 2017-18: The Bears have made the last four NCAA Tournaments, their longest streak in program history, and have missed out on March Madness just twice since 2010.

The Gators have won both of their home games in the SEC-Big 12 Challenge’s four-year history, defeating ranked Kansas and West Virginia teams in Gainesville. Florida owns a 3-1 mark in SEC-Big 12 Challenge play, with a win over Oklahoma in 2016-17 and a loss to Kansas in 2014-15 on the road.

Florida and Baylor have not met in the SEC-Big 12 Challenge, and have only met once in history. In December 1981, the Bears edged Florida, 72-71, at a neutral site.