The first season for Texas A&M men’s basketball coach Buzz Williams got more interesting Friday with the announcement of the return of the Lone Star Showdown against Texas on Dec. 8 at Dickies Arena in Fort Worth.

It’s the first scheduled game and third overall between the two basketball programs since A&M left the Big 12 Conference for the Southeastern Conference.

“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 in a press release. “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.”

Williams served as an assistant at A&M from 2004-06 under Billy Gillispie when the Aggies and Longhorns split four Big 12 regular-season games, with both games at Reed Arena being classics. The Aggies won 74-63 victory in 2005, ending a 10-game losing streak at home to the Longhorns in front of a record crowd of 12,811. The following season the Aggies won 46-43 over sixth-ranked Texas on Acie Law’s buzzer-beating 3-pointer.

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

A&M and Texas last played in an exhibition game at Rice in the 2017-18 season to benefit those affected by Hurricane Harvey. It was the second meeting between the programs since the Aggies left the Big 12. The first came on Nov. 25, 2015, in the Bahamas when A&M won 84-73 in the quarterfinals of the Battle 4 Atlantis.

Texas leads the all-time series 137-86. The Longhorns won the last five meetings in the Big 12, including a 70-68 victory at Reed Arena on Feb. 6, 2012, in the teams’ last conference game.

Tickets for the return of the Lone Star Showdown range from $25 to $200 with a $15 youth ticket.

Dickies’ website lists the tipoff as 2 p.m. but says television broadcast information will be announced at a later date.

Dickies Arena, which will open in November, is a multi-event facility that will seat 13,300 for basketball. George Strait will perform there Nov. 23, and TCU will play Southern California in the inaugural basketball game at the arena on Dec. 6.

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