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Big East/SEC Invitational And Coaches Vs. Cancer Early Rounds Highlight Random Schedule Notes

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Editor's Note: For more on the impending Realignmentageddon that appears to be in the cards for college sports, visit SB Nation. The mothership has you covered with StoryStreams (TM) covering the Pac-10 and Big Ten, with more on the way as necessary. Plus, they'll let you know if Tom Izzo is staying at Michigan State or going to Cleveland.

Off topic, if you're a fan of soccer (like me), they're covering the World Cup backwards and forwards.

It's been a few days since my last schedule piece. In that time, we have news about a conference challenge and the campus site games for one of the Gazelle Group's three events, along with full non-conference slates for a few teams.

I'll talk about these after the jump.

The Big East/SEC Invitational matchups and schedule were announced Wednesday, and the 2010 event features a big change to the schedule and a twist to the sites.

For starters, the event will partially move to the weekend, as the second doubleheader will be played at the new arena in Pittsburgh on Saturday, December 11.

The first doubleheader will take place on Wednesday, December 8, in a Big East city, Louisville, but the SEC's Kentucky will serve as the host. The Wildcats will continue their tradition of scheduling a home game at Freedom Hall. (That's not a mistake. The games will be played there, not the new "Double Down" Arena downtown.) UK will play the nightcap against Notre Dame, while Arkansas will face Seton Hall in the opener.

In Saturday's games in Pittsburgh, the second tilt, featuring the host Panthers and Tennessee is the main attraction. However, organizers will be lucky to see a dozen people in the stands for the first game, which pits Rutgers, who went 5-13 in the Big East in a season full of turmoil, against Auburn, who went 6-10 in the SEC. Well, at least that game will feature two of the better coaching hires of the offseason, the Scarlet Knights' Mike Rice and the Tigers' Tony Barbee.

Thanks to the imbalance between the memberships of these two leagues, Auburn, Kentucky, and Tennessee are playing in this event for the first time, while Arkansas is curiously involved for the first time, like the four Big East participants this time around.

In other schedule news...

The on-campus Regional Round matchups for the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic are set for November 8 and 10.

Pittsburgh will host Rhode Island and Illinois-Chicago
Texas will host Navy and Louisiana Tech
Maryland will host Seattle and College of Charleston
Illinois will host UC Irvine and Toledo

Besides the Big East/SEC Invitational and Coaches vs. Cancer event, Pitt will also take on crosstown rival Duquesne in the first hoops game in their city's new arena. 

Nevada's non-conference schedule, which already included an appearance in the NIT Season Tip-Off, features home games against UNLV and Arizona State, and road games against Washington (part of a two-for-one deal) and Portland. 

Washington's non-league slate is home heavy. Sure there's a trip to Maui and a Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series game at Texas A&M, but games against Texas Tech (another Hardwood Series rematch from last year), Portland, Long Beach State, and Seattle U, among others, are all in the Emerald City. One note is that the February game against the Redhawks will take place at KeyArena. 

Much like Florida a year ago, Arizona State responded to an NCAA snub by ramping up their schedule. The Sun Devils won't have the easiest start, as they visit New Mexico on November 16. They'll also host UAB before heading to Anchorage for the Great Alaska Shootout, where St. John's should be their biggest challenger for the crown. Road games at Baylor and Nevada and home contests against Richmond and Long Beach State highlight December.

Fran McCaffrey's first schedule at Iowa is in a word, manageable. While the Hawkeyes visit the Virgin Islands for the Paradise Jam and Wake Forest for the ACC/Big Ten Challenge, they only go on the road for one other non-league game, against in-state rival Drake. Iowa hosts their other two in-state rivals, UNI and Iowa State. Louisiana Tech, who led the WAC for a good chunk of last season, is the third most daunting home game on the slate.

Utah's schedule is typically a gauntlet, but they removed a few maces and swords this year, as the Utes' slate isn't quite as unbelievable as the past few. Jim Boylen's charges were already in the Diamond Head Classic field, where Butler, Baylor, Florida State, Mississippi State, or Washington State could await, but they also face home games against Fresno State, Oral Roberts (who beat New Mexico last year in Tulsa), Oregon, and Big Sky contenders Montana and Weber State, and road games against Bradley, Michigan, Portland, and WAC favorite Utah State.

Finally, our Georgetown blog, Casual Hoya, reports that the Hoyas' first home game will be against Tulane in November. GU opens their slate at Old Dominion on November 12.