The Big 12 and Southeastern Conference revealed the matchups for the 2020 Big 12/SEC Women’s Challenge, giving West Virginia women’s basketball one of its most prominent non-conference matchups ever. WVU will host Tennessee at WVU Coliseum during the 2020-21 season. Dates and times have not been determined yet.
WVU is no stranger to taking on powerhouse programs. The Mountaineers have been in conferences with UConn, Notre Dame and Baylor, but somehow Tennessee does carry more history with them.
Although the legendary Pat Summitt is no longer leading the Lady Vols, nor is she gracing this earth anymore, her legacy lives on for all women’s sports and female athletes. Summitt still holds the title of winningest head coach in NCAA women’s basketball history with 1,098 wins and eight national championships over 38 years. She retired from coaching in 2012 and passed in 2016.
The Lady Vols haven’t been able to ascend to the heights once known with Summitt in charge, but they are still a premier program. Tennessee has made the NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship tournament every year ever, last advancing to the Final Four in 2008, when they won.
Tennessee will be in the second year of Kellie Harper’s tenure. She was hired at the end of the 2018-2019 season. Last year, the Lady Vols went 21-10 in the regular season and lost in the quarterfinals of the SEC Women’s Basketball Championship.
West Virginia downed a top-ranked team this past season, defeating then-No. 10 Mississippi State 71-65 in the 2019 Big 12/SEC Women’s Challenge. Mike Carey’s team also defeated then-No. 19 Florida State that same month.
Tennessee holds a 6-0 lead in the all-time series between the two programs who last met in 2007. This will be just the second time WVU has hosted Tennessee in Morgantown; back in 1986 the Lady Vols defeated the Mountaineers 74-58.
Including last year’s win over Miss. State, WVU is 3-1 in the Big 12/SEC Women’s Challenge, 1-1 in the Coliseum. The Big 12 is 1-1-2 in the challenge since all 10 members started to compete in 2016.