Big 12 basketball notebook: Teams are proving that Big 12 is a strong basketball conference
After Kansas and Kansas State, a cluster of teams are vying for the third place in the league.
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Kansas coach Bill Self said he believes Smart will challenge Jayhawks guard Ben McLemore for National Freshman of the Year.
BEWARE OF HILTON COLISEUM
Before the tip between Iowa State and Oklahoma on Monday night, the Cyclones had won 19 consecutive games at Hilton Coliseum.
Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg tipped his hat to the fans for the Cyclones' hot home streak. Then he said this:
“I've always believed Hilton Coliseum is one of the most underrated arenas in college basketball.”
TRAVEL TOUGH FOR MOUNTAINEERS
Every time West Virginia plays a Big 12 game on the road, they play in a different time zone.
The Mountaineers, who are on Eastern Standard Time in Morgantown, W.Va., fly into the Central Standard Time zone. The basketball team, in its first year in the league, has already noticed the effects.
WVU coach Bob Huggins said in the future, the athletic program is going to be more aware about scheduling nonconference games — like the ones the Mountaineers had against Big Ten teams Purdue and Ohio State — during the conference season.
“We've tried to bring attractive nonconference teams in,” Huggins said. “What we need to do probably is try to keep those games out of the conference schedule.”