Subscribe for 99¢
Missouri Tennessee Basketball

Missouri basketball coach Cuonzo Martinm during a loss at Tennessee last season. (AP Photo)

Mizzou’s SEC basketball schedule is releasedCuonzo Martin should have a good idea of how well his team can compete in the Southeastern Conference after the first couple weeks of league play. The SEC announced the men’s basketball conference schedule on Tuesday and the Tigers open with four games against teams that made the 2019 NCAA Tournament, starting with a Jan. 4 showdown against Kentucky at Rupp Arena, set for a 1 p.m. tipoff on SEC Network. It’s the first overall conference game of the season and part of an SEC Network tripleheader.

The Tigers return to Columbia for their first SEC home game Jan. 7 against reigning SEC regular-season champion Tennessee, followed by a home game Jan. 11 against Florida, then a trip to Mississippi State on Jan. 14. From there, Mizzou gets consecutive games against two of the league’s three new coaches: at Alabama and new Crimson Tide coach Nate Oats on Jan. 18 and home against Texas A&M and Buzz Williams on Jan. 21. On Jan. 25, the Tigers take a break from conference action and play at West Virginia in the Big 12/SEC Challenge.

Then it’s back to conference play at home against Georgia on Jan. 28, followed by back-to-back road trips to South Carolina on Feb. 1 and Texas A&M on Feb. 4. Martin’s team comes home to host Arkansas and new Razorbacks coach Eric Musselman on a Saturday afternoon on Feb. 8 then head back on the road to play at Louisiana State on Feb. 11.

Next up, two straight home games against Auburn, a Final Four team last season, on Feb. 15, and Ole Miss on Feb. 18. Then it’s back on the road for games at Arkansas on Feb. 22, another Saturday afternoon game against the Razorbacks, and at Vanderbilt on Feb. 26. After a visit from Mississippi State on Feb. 29, the Tigers have one more road game at Ole Miss on March 4 before playing their regular-season finale against Alabama on March 7. Schedule, B9. (Dave Matter)

Arkansas names Starkel starting QB: Nick Starkel has been named Arkansas’ starting quarterback. Starkel, a graduate transfer who previously played for Texas A&M, will replace Ben Hicks for Saturday’s game against Colorado State. After Hicks struggled Saturday against Mississippi, Starkel stepped in and went 17 for 24 for 201 yards and a touchdown. (AP)

Europe beats U.S. team in track event: Europe beat the United States on Tuesday to win the inaugural edition of “The Match,” a new team competition in track and field in Minsk, Belarus.

Europe pulled away from the U.S. on the second and final day of the competition to win by 724.5 points to 601.5 from 37 events.

With the world championships just over two weeks away, some medal contenders used the event as a tune-up, and others skipped it entirely. The competition saw four athletes from the U.S. and four from Europe enter each event. The teams were then awarded points based on the placements in each event. (AP)

Devils sign Zacha to new deal: New Jersey re-signed restricted free agent center Pavel Zacha to a three-year, $6.75 million contract. The 22-year-old Zacha is from the Czech Republic and had a career-best 13 goals in 61 games last season. He has 29 goals and 47 assists for 76 points in 201 career NHL games. (AP)

Rascals open Frontier League Championship: The River City Rascals opened the Frontier League title series with a 5-2 victory on the road over the Florence Freedom for a 1-0 lead in the best-of-five series. The next game is Wednesday also at Florence, Ky. (News sources)