When it comes to the Big 12/SEC Challenge, Vanderbilt will square off with another rebuilding power in the annual cross-conference showdown. The Commodores will host Iowa State for the first time since 1985 on January 28, 2017.
The Cyclones have been to five straight NCAA Tournaments and have been a four seed or lower in the last three, but they'll have plenty of work to do to keep those streaks alive. Iowa State lost leading scorer Georges Niang to graduation this spring, and veteran leaders like Abdel Nader and Jameel McKay were also seniors in 2016. While dynamic shooters Monte Morris and Matt Thomas remain, ISU will have to replace the heart and soul of last year's Sweet Sixteen team.
Vanderbilt is in a similar situation. Top scorers Damian Jones and Wade Baldwin IV both declared for the NBA Draft after solid 2015-16 seasons. The Commodores will return a solid core of players like 7'1 shot-blocking dynamo Luke Kornet, do-everything forward Jeff Roberson, and three-point deadeye Matthew Fisher-Davis. However, with questions at the point and in the post, this team won't be as intimidating at Memorial Gym as they were last winter.
Iowa State leads the all-time series between the teams 4-3. Here's the full lineup for the 2017 Big 12/SEC Challenge:
2017 SEC/Big 12 Challenge (Saturday, Jan. 28):
Baylor at Mississippi
Iowa State at Vanderbilt
Kansas at Kentucky
Kansas State at Tennessee
Florida at Oklahoma
Arkansas at Oklahoma State
Auburn at TCU
Texas at Georgia
LSU at Texas Tech
Texas A&M at West Virginia