When the Big 12 Tournament bracket was released, revealing a first-round Bedlam clash at 9 a.m., heads dropped all around, particularly in camps of Oklahoma and Oklahoma State fans.
And at the All Sports Association.
The early start on a Wednesday work day makes it hard on Bedlam fans, likely leading to a significantly smaller crowd than an evening or even afternoon game would have attracted.
And for the All Sports Association, the tournament host, that means fewer tickets and concessions sold. And it means a lost chance at the kind of spotlight game capable of confirming how people in Oklahoma feel about the tournament being here — and staying here.
“That's just the way the bracket is set up,” said Tim Brassfield, executive director of the All Sports Association. “We don't set the times, we host the event and we run the event.
“Of course, it is not ideal. It's unfortunate for the fans who can't come out.”
Sources told The Oklahoman that there were conversations about moving the Bedlam game into a more prominent time slot, but a compromise couldn't be reached.
The double-elimination format is set up to reward the No. 1 seed, allowing that team an opportunity for extended rest following its opener and with the potential for more games. Previously, when the tournament was played in a pool format, guidelines were added to allow for slotting OU or OSU into later start times.
OKCPD ADDRESSES GATHERING
Capt. Dan Martin of the Oklahoma City Police Department addressed the Big 12 coaches during Tuesday's luncheon after eight people were shot just outside the ballpark shortly after the Thunder game ended Monday night.
“I just want to stress to anybody while you're here, if there's any thoughts of your safety and security issues here, not to worry,” Martin said. “Bricktown has always been a safe environment and it still is.”
Martin called the incident “random” and “isolated.”
HEANEY NAMED PITCHER OF THE YEAR
Oklahoma State starter Andrew Heaney was named the Big 12's Pitcher of the Year by the conference's coaches.
Heaney is 8-1 and has limited hitters to a .183 average.
“My first two years, I started off hot and faltered down the stretch. Knowing that I kept it up and haven't let my team down so far and have been able to give us a chance to win has felt good,” Heaney said. “My freshman year, I just didn't have the durability or the strength. I wasn't strong enough. I really couldn't last a whole season. Last year, I think I was almost there and I just started pressing a little bit going into the Big 12 thinking I had to do more than I really needed to.