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by: Kris Gardner, United States Basketball Writers Association member. Credentialed media member since 1997. USBWA approved online journalist. Voter of Katrina McClain, Naismith, USBWA, and Wooden awards.

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Houston Cougars Men's Hoops to Meet Xavier in BIG EAST-Big 12 Battle in 2023-24

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POSTED: April 6, 2023 -- 11:55 a.m. CT

The Houston Cougars Men's Basketball program learned its first opponent for the 2023-24 season, as the Cougars will travel to face Xavier on Friday, Dec. 1, as part of the BIG EAST-Big 12 Battle, both leagues announced Thursday morning.


Houston owns a 2-0 record against Xavier in the series history. It will be the first time Houston faces Xavier since a 100-75 win at the Bluebonnet Classic in Houston on December 15, 1977.

This will be the first time Houston has faced the Musketeers in Men's Basketball on the road with both previous meetings being played in Houston. In the other previous meeting, the Cougars took a 114-73 win in Houston on December 9, 1972.

Houston Head Coach Kelvin Sampson has posted a 1-1 record against Xavier during his career with a 2002 NCAA Tournament win as Oklahoma's coach and a loss in the 2007 Chicago Invitational Challenge with Indiana.


This marks the fifth season of the BIG EAST-Big 12 Battle. This season's games will be played from Nov. 30 through Dec. 5.

With each conference adding member schools since the start of the original agreement, the Battle will increase from 10 to 11 matchups for the 2023-24 and 2024-25 seasons. The Big 12 will host six games in 2023-24 while the BIG EAST will host six the following season.

The Battle matchups are jointly determined by the two conferences, with the home team choosing the venue of its game. Broadcast arrangements for the contests will be determined by the national television rights holder of the home team, which is ESPN for the Big 12 and FOX Sports for the BIG EAST.

Game times and television networks will be announced when available.

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