Date for Beard’s return to Lubbock set — Big 12 announces men’s, women’s conference schedule

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Chris Beard - Texas Athletics

Texas Longhorns basketball coach Chris Beard smiles for a picture with Athletics Director Chris Del Conte and President Jay Hartzell. (Photo: Texas Athletics)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Big 12 released the conference schedules for men’s and women’s basketball on Wednesday.

For the men, the most anticipated game of the year is typically when Kansas visits Austin, but this year, it’s a different matchup garnering headlines: Texas at Texas Tech.

On Feb. 1, Chris Beard will make his first appearance back in Lubbock after leaving the Red Raiders for their in-state rivals. Beard led the Red Raiders to to unprecedented highs during his five seasons with Tech, but departure for Texas left Red Raider fans feeling betrayed.

Regardless of records, that game figures to be the marquee matchup around the country on that Tuesday night.

That game comes three days after the Big 12-SEC challenge when Rick Barnes returns to Austin with his Tennessee squad.

The conference slate opens up on New Year’s Day, a Saturday, at home against West Virginia. The Jayhawks visit Austin on Monday, Feb. 7. Then, Texas pays a visit to Waco to take on the defending national champion Bears on Saturday.

Texas Tech visits Austin Feb. 19, though that game doesn’t figure to have nearly the hype around it as their first meeting should earlier in the month. The Longhorns end the season with a brutal three-game stretch hosting WVU on Saturday, Feb. 26, then Baylor on Monday before wrapping up the season at Kansas that Saturday.

As for the women, fresh off a run to the Elite Eight in their first season under Vic Schaefer, they open conference play on Sunday, Jan. 2 at Oklahoma State. A week later, they take on Baylor in Waco. The Bears make the return trip to Austin a month later on Feb. 6.

Two other big match ups for the Longhorns are their two games against WVU, which swept them last season. The first meeting is in Austin on Jan. 15. UT visits Morgantown on Sunday, Feb. 20.

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