Oklahoma State basketball: It's time someone other than the Jayhawks won the Big 12

COMMENTARY — Kansas has won four straight Big 12 basketball titles and done no worse than tie for the lead eight straight years. It's time for a change, and Oklahoma State is position to make it happen Wednesday night.
by Berry Tramel Published: February 19, 2013

STILLWATER – I hope my Jayhawk friends take this the right way. I hope they know it's nothing personal.

But it's time someone other than Kansas won the Big 12 basketball championship.

The Jayhawks won the league in 2012. And 2011. And 2010. And 2009. Four straight outright titles, and the Jayhawks have finished no worse than in a tie for first eight straight years.

Not since Eddie Sutton's great Cowboy team of 2004 has Kansas been relegated to as low as second place.

And now another OSU team can do something about it. Travis Ford's Cowboys host KU on Wednesday night, and the winner lands the catbird seat for the 2013 Big 12 championship.

It's about dang time someone besides Kansas sported the trophy.

“I think it's time for us to win it,” said OSU's Markel Brown.

Nothing against Kansas. The Jayhawks have been worthy champions. Over the years, they have been splendid representatives of Big 12 hoops. Annually a ballteam you can cheer for.

Likable coaches, be it Roy Williams or Bill Self. Stars you can embrace, from Nick Collison to Thomas Robinson. Fans you can stand to live with. The best venue in college basketball. The best tradition in American sport.

We don't pound our chests with conference pride in this part of the country, but who among us doesn't pull for the Jayhawks every March? Kansas basketball is pure class.

I'm just tired of KU winning the league every year, and the Big 12 ought to be really tired of it. It's holding back the conference.

No other league has such domination. No ACC school has won four straight league titles since Duke in 1997-00. No Pac-12 school has done it since UCLA's reign of terror in the ‘60s and ‘70s. No SEC school has done it since Kentucky in 1968-71. No Big Ten or Big East school ever has done it.

But here come the Jayhawks, floating along. Heck, even when the Big 12 is loaded, KU is undeterred. In 2002, OU made the Final Four. But Kansas won the league and made the Final Four itself. In 2003, Texas made the Final Four. But Kansas won the league and made the Final Four itself.

And even that parity has flown the coup. KU has failed to finish first only once in the last 11 years, that 2004 season. And now the Jayhawks have made the Big 12 Tournament their domain, too. Oklahoma schools won five straight Big 12 Tournaments, 2001-05, but KU has five of the last seven.

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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...
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