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Berry Tramel  

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Big 12 basketball: Massive March disappointment

by Berry Tramel Modified: March 31, 2014 at 11:35 am •  Published: March 31, 2014

Oklahoma's Jordan Woodard (10) and Ryan Spangler (00) walk off the court in the final seconds of overtime during the NCAA men's basketball tournament game between the University of Oklahoma and North Dakota State at the Spokane Arena in Spokane, Wash., Thursday, March 20, 2014. Oklahoma home lost 80-75. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma's Jordan Woodard (10) and Ryan Spangler (00) walk off the court in the final seconds of overtime during the NCAA men's basketball tournament game between the University of Oklahoma and North Dakota State at the Spokane Arena in Spokane, Wash., Thursday, March 20, 2014. Oklahoma home lost 80-75. Photo by Sarah Phipps, The Oklahoman

Three games left in the NCAA Tournament, and the conference standings within March Madness are virtually set.

The Big 12 finished with fewer than victories than teams, which is very difficult to do if you’re a power conference.

The Big 12 finished 6-7.  In terms of winning percentage, that makes the Big 12 seventh among leagues. In terms of total victories, the Big 12 is tied for fifth.

Quite a comedown from a league that billed itself as the nation’s best. My colleague Ryan Aber has pointed out that the Big 12’s strength was in its depth. Lot of good teams. Not necessarily any great teams (other than Kansas, theoretically).

Contrast that with the SEC, which was top-heavy. One great team (Florida), one good team with the potential to catch fire (Kentucky) and then a bunch of teams, one of which (Tennessee) made the NCAA Tournament and won three tough games.

It’s unfortunate that college basketball success is determined by the NCAA Tournament. But it is. That’s the landscape created not by the media or fans. That’s the landscape created by the sport itself.

And the Big 12 was a massive March disappointment. The NCAA Tournament is put up or shut up time. Time for Big 12 hoops to shut up.

WINNING PERCENTAGE

1. SEC 11-1

2. American 7-3

3. Big Ten 10-5

4. Pac-12 8-6

5. ACC 6-6

5. Mountain West 2-2

7. Big 12 6-7

8. Atlantic-10 4-6

9. Big East 2-4

10. West Coast 1-2

VICTORIES

1. SEC 11-1

2. Big Ten 10-5

3. Pac-12 8-6

4. American 7-3

5. ACC 6-6

5. Big 12 6-7

7. Atlantic-10 4-6

8. Mountain West 2-2

8. Big East 2-4

10. West Coast 1-2

by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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