Big 12 Conference

Kansas' Wayne Selden Jr. cuts a piece of the net after winning an NCAA college basketball game against West Virginia to win the Big 12 conference tournament Saturday, March 12, 2016, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

Big 12 releases conference schedule

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For the first time in conference history, the Big 12 will be playing its league games on both sides of New Year’s Day.

The Big 12 will have a showcase day on Friday, Dec. 30, with Texas Tech at Iowa State (4 p.m. eastern), followed by Baylor at Oklahoma (7 p.m.) and Kansas at TCU ( 9 p.m.). Kansas State will host Texas and Oklahoma State will welcome West Virginia as well, though times have yet to be determined, on the league’s first-ever December day of games.

The league’s first signature Big Monday contest is Jan. 16, with Kansas traveling to Hilton Coliseum to face Iowa State.

Final day of league action is Saturday, March 4, before all 10 teams travel to Kansas City for the conference’s tournament starting March 8.

While the league may be starting at a new time, one thing will remain the same: Kansas is the heavy favorite to claim its 13th-straight conference championship.

To see the full Big 12 schedule, click here.

January Big 12 showdowns highlight 2015-16 ‘Big Monday’ schedule

Bill Self
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Wednesday afternoon the matchups for ESPN’s “Big Monday” were announced, with for the third consecutive season the ACC in the 7:00 p.m. Eastern time slot and the Big 12 in the second half of the doubleheader. Of course some of the nation’s top teams will be on display, with North Carolina and Duke making three appearances apiece in the ACC and Kansas getting four games in the Big 12 portion of the slate.

Iowa State and Oklahoma, expected by many to be the biggest threats to Kansas’ current streak of 11 straight Big 12 regular season titles, will make three appearances apiece as will Texas under first-year head coach Shaka Smart.

In regards to the Big 12 schedule, it shouldn’t take too long to get a feel for the conference race with the Jayhawks, Cyclones and Sooners being featured during the first three weeks of the schedule. Kansas will host Oklahoma January 4, with the Sooners taking on Iowa State in Ames January 18 (the 11th is taken by the College Football Playoff title game) and Kansas visiting Iowa State January 25.

As for the ACC portion of the schedule, either North Carolina or reigning national champion Duke will be in action during each of the first five weeks beginning with the Tar Heels’ trip to Florida State January 4. Duke will host Syracuse January 18 and then head to Miami the following Monday, with the Tar Heels taking on Louisville February 1 and the Blue Devils hosting the Cardinals February 8.

Two-time ACC regular season champion Virginia gets two appearances, as they’ll host another expected contender in NC State February 15 and visiting Miami February 22. Below is the full schedule for “Big Monday” during the 2015-16 season.

January 4
7 p.m. North Carolina at Florida State
9 p.m. Oklahoma at Kansas

January 18
7 p.m. Syracuse at Duke
9 p.m. Oklahoma at Iowa State

January 25
7 p.m. Duke at Miami
9 p.m. Kansas at Iowa State

February 1
7 p.m. North Carolina at Louisville
9 p.m. Texas at Baylor

February 8
7 p.m. Louisville at Duke
9 p.m. Texas at Oklahoma

February 15
7 p.m. NC State at Virginia
9 p.m. Oklahoma State at Kansas

February 22
7 p.m. Virginia at Miami
9 p.m. Iowa State at West Virginia

February 29
7 p.m. Syracuse at North Carolina
9 p.m. Kansas at Texas ESPN

Big 12 Tournament to remain in Kansas City through 2020

Bob Bowlsby, Fred Hoiberg
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Since the Big 12 came into existence in 1996, 14 of its men’s basketball tournaments have been played in Kansas City with Kemper Arena hosting seven and the Sprint Center hosting seven with an eighth scheduled for next season. Thursday afternoon the Big 12 announced the sites for multiple conference championships, which includes the decision to leave the Big 12 tournament in Kansas City through 2020.

The league’s contract with the Sprint Center was due to expire after the 2016 edition of the event.

“We are thrilled to announce the future sites for the championships,” Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby said in the release. “Every city that submitted a bid did a phenomenal job – making our decision very difficult. We look forward to growing the success of our men’s basketball championship in Kansas City, while also exposing fans throughout our footprint to our postseason competitions.”

The Big 12 tournament has been well-attended during its time in Kansas City, with the conference noting in the release that the average per session attendance for tournaments at the Sprint Center have exceeded 18,000. Of the 14 Big 12 tournaments played in Kansas City, Kansas has been the most frequent winner as the Jayhawks have won seven of them.

Iowa State, which has won the last two Big 12 tournaments, has won three (2000, 2014, 2015) of the 14 staged in Kansas City with Oklahoma (2001, 2002) winning two and Oklahoma State (2005) and former member Missouri (2012) winning one apiece.

Big 12 reprimands Kansas State for security issues following Monday’s win over Kansas

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With the conversation regarding whether or not fans should be allowed to rush the court following big wins, the Big 12 has reprimanded Kansas State for its issues following the basketball team’s win over Kansas Monday night. With there being multiple security issues surrounding the fans’ rushing onto the court, Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby stated that the interactions were “inappropriate and unacceptable.”

Also of note in the statement is the fact that the conference presidents have plans to discuss the possibility of instituting conference-wide protocols for situations such as the one that occurred on Monday. Included in this is the conference not having rules regarding vulgar chants, which also occurred Monday night in Manhattan.

“The Big 12 Conference does not currently have a policy prohibiting spectators entering playing areas of our contests,” Bowlsby said in the release. “We also do not have policies governing foul language and inappropriate chants within our venues. I have asked that discussions on both of these topics be placed on the agendas for the next meetings of the ADs and of the CEOs.

“In the meantime, all conference institutions are reminded to reassess game management procedures in order to effectively and uniformly ensure the integrity of our contests, the security of the student-athletes and coaches, and the safety of the spectators, Bowlsby continued. “Maintenance of a sportslike environment around our contests is among the most important responsibilities shared by our members and enforced by the conference office. The events following the KU vs. K-State game should be a call to action for all of us.”

Wednesday afternoon Kansas State Police Department announced that Nathan Power, the student who ran onto the court and intentionally bumped into Kansas forward Jamari Traylor, has been issued a notice to appear in court on a charge of disorderly conduct.

Regardless of which side of the court-storming argument folks belong to, there are some issues to address when it comes to the safety of all who are on the court at that time. The SEC currently fines schools when fans rush, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if the Big 12 considered making a similar move in the near future.

Kansas center Joel Embiid to see a back specialist on Monday

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Andrew Wiggins went off for 41 points, corralling eight rebounds, recording five steals and blocking four shots on Saturday afternoon in the same state where he became such a highly-touted prospect.

That’s the good news for Kansas. The bad news is that the Jayhawks lost to West Virginia 92-86 as KU’s bid for a No. 1 seed took a hit. It was the second straight game the Jayhawks played without center Joel Embiid, sidelined with a back injury suffered in last week’s loss to Oklahoma State.

Embiid will fly to California to see a back specialist on Monday morning.

‘We wanted to get a second opinion and wanted to send him to the very best authority,” Self said following the game according to Gary Bedore of

“Hopefully we get real positive news. Hopefully he can be on the practice floor very very soon. We will not put him out there just because he feels better but because the doctors says it’s time to get back out there. Hopefully it will be real soon, if not we’ll sit him a little longer. We still don’t think it will affect (his participation in) the NCAA tournament in any way.”

Kansas is as talented as any team in the country. Though the Jayhawks, like many teams, still face questions heading into postseason play. Kansas’ point guard play and Embiid’s back are two major ones moving forward.

However, Wiggins’ offensive outburst — along with his defensive presence — gave Kansas fans a silver lining on Saturday in the regular season finale. Kansas has dropped two of three games in March so far, but consider it a win for the Jayhawks if they can get a positive update on Embiid’s back, getting their star center back on the floor as they gear up for the NCAA tournament.

Oklahoma State’s Marcus Smart suspended three games for shoving fan


With 6.2 seconds remaining in Oklahoma State’s 65-61 loss at Texas Tech on Saturday night, sophomore guard Marcus Smart shoved Texas Tech fan Jeff Orr after being taunted by Orr. Smart, who wound up close to the stands as a result of his challenging a Texas Tech layup attempt, was assessed a technical foul and removed from the game by head coach Travis Ford.

Smart apologized for his actions during a press conference on Sunday evening, and the Big 12 announced that he will be suspended for the Cowboys’ next three games. The first game Smart will miss is on Tuesday night, when the Cowboys visit No. 15 Texas.

“Mr. Smart’s actions were a clear violation of the Big 12 Conference’s Sportsmanship and Ethical Conduct Policy,” Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby said in the release.  “Such behavior has no place in athletics, and will not be tolerated.  I appreciate the efforts of Oklahoma State University athletics director Mike Holder in addressing this matter, and believe this is an appropriate response to an inappropriate action.”

Smart will also miss games against Oklahoma and Baylor, with the first game he can play upon his return being the Cowboys’ home game against Texas Tech on February 22. There’s never a good time for a situation like this, and the fact that Oklahoma State is already down one guard (Stevie Clark, who was dismissed from the program) makes the loss of Smart even bigger.

Without Smart in the fold for the next three games it’s likely that fellow sophomore Phil Forte III moves into the starting lineup. However the next best playmaker for the Cowboys has been Markel Brown, who’s second on the team with an average of 2.6 assists per game. Forte’s averaging just 1.1 assists per game, with much of his work being done off the ball prior to this point.

Any way you slice it, this is a major personnel loss for a team that’s lost four in a row and five of its last six games. And without their best playmaker, Oklahoma State’s in serious danger of going from being ranked in the Top 10 to not even making the NCAA tournament. How well the Cowboys perform in Smart’s absence will determine their fate.