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MEN’S BASKETBALL: Texas, A&M to resume rivalry in December

The University of Texas and Texas A&M announced the resumption of their longstanding men’s basketball series for Sunday, Dec. 8.

The game will be held at 14,000-seat Dickies Arena, which will open in November in Fort Worth. Tickets will go on sale at ticketmaster.com at a date to be released, UT said in a release.

A&M won the most recent meeting over Texas, 84-73 in a Battle 4 Atlantis quarterfinal in the Bahamas. According to the San Antonio Express-News, Texas leads the all-time series 137-86, having won six of the past eight meetings. The two schools were rivals in the old Southwest Conference (before 1996-97) and the Big 12 (before A&M left for the Southeastern Conference following the 2011-12 season).

“This is a terrific opportunity to renew an important rivalry for the fans in the great state of Texas,” UT coach Shaka Smart said in the release. “We’re excited about the chance to play in a first-class arena in front of our fans in the Metroplex.”

The rivalry is being renewed just in time for the start of the Buzz Williams coaching era at A&M. Williams, a Van Alstyne (north Texas) native, was hired from Virginia Tech following a Sweet 16 run in the NCAA tournament.

“I’ve seen the Texas A&M-Texas rivalry firsthand, so I know how important this game is to our players, coaches and fans,” Williams said. “We’re also excited about getting the opportunity to play in front of our Metroplex alumni in the new Dickies Arena. This is one of those games that generates passion from both sides and we’re looking forward to the challenge.”

The first sporting event for the arena will be a men’s game between Southern California and TCU on Dec. 6. Dickies is to be the site for the American Athletic Conference tournament in March 2010 and the NCAA women’s gymnastics championships the following month.

The inaugural event for Dickies Arena is The Black Keys’ “Let’s Rock” Tour on Nov. 14.

— I.C. Murrell

About I.C. Murrell

I.C. Murrell was promoted to editor of The News, effective Oct. 14, 2019. He previously served as sports editor since August 2015 and has won or shared eight first-place awards from state newspaper associations and corporations. He was born in Memphis, Tennessee, grew up mostly in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, and graduated from the University of Arkansas at Monticello.

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