June 10, 2010
AUBURN -- Auburn will play Rutgers in the fourth annual DIRECTV SEC/BIG EAST Invitational brand new CONSOL Energy Center in Pittsburgh on ESPN2 on Saturday, Dec. 11 as part of a basketball doubleheader with Tennessee vs. Pittsburgh, ESPN Regional Television announced.
Game times for the doubleheader will be announced at a later date. This marks the second time that Auburn has played in the SEC/Big East Invitational as the Tigers lost to West Virginia in 2007 at the BJCC Arena in Birmingham.
The two-night men's college basketball event features four games from two off-campus sites beginning on Dec. 8 at Freedom Hall in Louisville with Arkansas vs. Seton Hall at 6 pm Central on ESPN2 followed by Kentucky vs. Notre Dame at 8:30 pm on ESPN.
"This is great for college basketball and for the SEC, Big East and ESPN to continue to be a part of this format," said first-year Auburn head coach Tony Barbee. "It is outstanding for both leagues, and it is important to have high-level basketball exposure in December.
"This will be a good early test for our team, and we are happy that the Auburn alumni clubs in the northeast will have the chance to see us play."
Auburn has a 4-1 record all-time against Rutgers while defeating the Scarlet Knights 82-70 on Dec. 8, 2002, in Auburn in the last meeting between the two. The Tigers are 15-12 all-time against the Big East.
Teams invited to participate in the DIRECTV SEC/BIG EAST Invitational are chosen by ESPN in consultation with the conferences and are based on geographic and competitive criteria.
The Big East holds a 7-5 record in the first three years of the event while the two conferences have combined to produce four of the last eight NCAA Men's Basketball Champions in Florida (2006, 2007), UConn (2004) and Syracuse (2003) and seven of the last 15 national champions with UConn (1999) and Kentucky (1996, 1998).
Tickets for the 2010 DIRECTV SEC/BIG EAST Invitational are expected to go on sale in early fall. Fans who would like to receive notification when tickets are available can visit the official website at www.secbigeastinvitational.com and follow instructions.