The Sec Challenge with the Big 12 is one of the most exciting early-season events in College Basketball. It pits some of the best teams against each other, and - at minimum - pits Power 5 programs against each other instead of having them face lower-caliber competition. But even within the competition, some contests are more entertaining and important than others. These are the four biggest games of the SEC Challenge.

4. Tennessee Volunteers at Iowa State Cyclones

The Tennessee Volunteers are still looking to find their footing in the Rick Barnes era as the head coach enters his third season. Last year, the team was mediocre through and through, finishing ninth in the SEC.

Iowa State was better than mediocre last season, finishing in the upper echelon of the Big 12 and making it to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. They could be considered to be in a similar situation as the Volunteers, though, as Steve Prohm also enters his third year.

3. Texas A&M Aggies at Kansas Jayhawks

These teams once shared the Big 12 conference as a home before the Aggies defected to the SEC. The one thing that hasn't changed: Kansas is still the class of their conference. Despite losing Wooden Award-winner Frank Mason III to graduation and Josh Jackson to the NBA Draft, they will reload again behind the incoming Lawson brothers. The Aggies may have one of next year's breakout stars in Robert Williams, who was projected to be a lottery pick in the draft before returning to school.

2. Baylor Bears at Florida Gators

These two teams have emerged as surprising college basketball heavyweights. Following a Sweet 16 run, the Bears lost Johnathan Motley to the NBA Draft, but should still be able to contend in the Big 12 thanks to coach Scott Drew. Meanwhile, Florida was just a few baskets from the Final Four before falling to their SEC counterparts, South Carolina.

Most of their core will return, along with rising coaching star Mike White.

1. Kentucky Wildcats at West Virginia Mountaineers

Next year promises to be much different than this year for Kentucky. That being said, the same could be said every year for the SEC powerhouse. As they replace their entire starting lineup, the West Virginia game will prove to be a good barometer for where next year's team is at.

Meanwhile, West Virginia looks poised to potentially end Kansas' run at the top of the Big 12 with a loaded and veteran-filled roster, despite the loss of Nathan Adrian and Tarik Phillip.

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