March Madness: Kansas wins ultra-deep Big 12 tournament. Now what’s next for the conference in March?
KANSAS CITY – Well, wasn’t that interesting. One minute, the Big 12 was supposed to be headed for a new world order. And the next, there’s Kansas winning the season and tournament titles again. All the rest of the league could do was sigh. This made the Jayhawks 11-2 in conference championship games since 1997.
So now what?
This is the Best Conference in America, right? That phrase has been more popular in Kansas City this week than barbecue. It has been used so often, the league’s acronym should now be BCIA. The 106-22 non-conference record has been cited. The five in-season tournaments won by Big 12 teams has been mentioned. The round-robin schedule of relentless heat. Yep, BCIA.
It’s prove-it time.
KINGS OF THE BIG 12!
— NCAA March Madness (@marchmadness) March 11, 2018
THE BIG 12 CHRONICLES: CHAPTER 7
Now it’s up to the selection committee to decide if the NCAA tournament will include a Big 12 tidal wave. There has been much speculation here about the chance that nine of the 10 teams would be included in the bracket Sunday. A 90-percent attendance rate. Unheard of.
Looks more like it’ll be only eight. (Sorry, Oklahoma State). Or maybe even seven. (You too, Baylor).
The coaches won’t be happy about that, for they understand what they all have gone through this winter.
Listen to West Virginia’s Bob Huggins.
“We’re not one of those leagues where you play the best teams like once every three years, you know? This league has great coaching. Not good, but great coaching. And we’ve got really good players. You put any of those other people in here that are so-called `bubble teams,’ and see what they do playing 18 games in this league.”
Or Texas’ Shaka Smart.
“When you come out of this league, you go through the fire.”
Or Texas Tech’s Chris Beard.
“When you finish second place in the Big 12, you’re good enough to win a national championship.”
Or Baylor’s Scott Drew.
“When you play top-25 teams, you rack up losses. In this league, you do.”
Or Kansas’ Bill Self.
“Basketball’s screwy. There’s three or four teams in the country, whether they win their league or not, whether they win their conference tournament, everybody knows if they play their best, they’re better than everybody else. Nobody in our league is one of those teams.
“But that’s really…