Big 12 basketball notebook: 7 of Big Eight's original members make the NCAA Tournament

BY STEPHANIE KUZYDYM, Staff Writer, skuzydym@opubco.com Published: March 18, 2013
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photo - In this photo provided by the University of Kansas, Kansas guard Travis Releford, left, and center Jeff Withey react after learning their NCAA college basketball tournament assignment during a Selection Sunday viewing party, Sunday, March 17, 2013, in Lawrence, Kan. Kansas is scheduled to face Western Kentucky in the second round on Friday in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/University of Kansas, Jeff Jacobsen) ORG XMIT: KSOW105
In this photo provided by the University of Kansas, Kansas guard Travis Releford, left, and center Jeff Withey react after learning their NCAA college basketball tournament assignment during a Selection Sunday viewing party, Sunday, March 17, 2013, in Lawrence, Kan. Kansas is scheduled to face Western Kentucky in the second round on Friday in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/University of Kansas, Jeff Jacobsen) ORG XMIT: KSOW105

Seven Big 12 teams made it to a post-season tournament: five of them to the NCAA Tournament (Kansas, Oklahoma State, Kansas State, Oklahoma and Iowa State) and two to the NIT (Texas and Baylor).

On Monday, the coaches of the tournament-bound teams talked in the final Big 12 coaches' teleconference of the season.

A lot of the talk centered on the coaches' respective matchups, their stand-out players and their excitement about the postseason.

SEVEN GREATS OF THE BIG EIGHT

Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger knows a thing or two about the Big Eight conference. Sometimes, he still slips up, he said and refers to the Big 12 conference as the Big Eight, the conference he played in as a young hoops star.

“My players remind me of that frequently. ‘Coach, it's the Big 12,'” Kruger said.

Although Kruger hadn't thought of it, it was brought to his attention that seven of the eight Big Eight schools are in the NCAA Tournament. Nebraska is the only team who didn't make the tournament.

“It's not a surprise when you think about the depth of the league,” Kruger said.

Kansas coach Bill Self talked about the Big Eight's dominance, too.

“They've always said there's strength in numbers,” Self said. “It's always been an unbelievable basketball area and league and, of course, it's good to see that tradition continuing.”

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