Big 12 basketball: Bring back the old format
At 4:40 p.m. Friday, the Kansas City weekend was still 20 minutes from starting, and of the 24 Big 12 basketball teams that came to KC for the conference tournament, only six remained.
Can we please return to the old format of finishing at least one of the Big 12 tournaments on Sunday? Four games on Tuesday (women)? Eight games on Wednesday (both men and women)? Is the Big 12 trying to deter any fans from outside Kansas City coming to the tournaments? Truth is, the Big 12 tournaments have become a mid-week event.
The original format was this: women Tuesday through Saturday, men Thursday through Sunday. Four years ago, it flipped — men Wednesday through Saturday, women Thursday through Sunday. This year, the Big 12 fled Sunday all together.
The reasons for the men leaving Sunday were clear — the coaches claimed teams that had to play on Sunday had too quick a turnaround for a potential Thursday game in the NCAA Tournament. The traditional 2 p.m. Sunday tipoff also put the NCAA selection committee at peril; on occasion, it had to draw up a bracket not knowing for sure who would win the league’s automatic berth into the field.
And with the new NCAA men’s format of two games being played Tuesday and two games being played Wednesday, all in Dayton, Ohio, a Sunday Big 12 finale would indeed create a potential travel/fatigue problem.
But why move the Big 12 women off Sunday? The NCAA women’s tournament doesn’t begin until the following Saturday. So travel and/or fatigue is not a concern at all.
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