- Andy Katz, ESPN.com Senior Writer
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1. Kansas is on the verge of a possible eighth-straight Big 12 title. That’s remarkable. The Big 12 has been one of the toughest conferences in the country during that stretch. Bill Self has done a tremendous job with this group, has managed a star in Thomas Robinson perfectly, developed a good complimentary player in the post in Jeff Withey and dealt with an enigmatic but effective Tyshawn Taylor. And remember, the Jayhawks lost their top recruit, Ben McLemore to academics in the nonconference. Self is right there for coach of the year nationally with Mizzou’s Frank Haith, Notre Dame’s Mike Brey, Kentucky’s John Calipari, Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim and Michigan State’s Tom Izzo.
2. The decision to bring Michigan State AD Mark Hollis (as well as Delaware AD and former Georgetown AD Bernard Muir) on the NCAA tournament selection committee was an intelligent decision. Hollis has been one of the best athletic directors in the country in understanding men’s basketball scheduling. Hollis has been a gambler and innovator (one of the creators of the Carrier Classic). He will know how to correctly judge nonconference scheduling. The committee improved in 2012-13 with the Hollis addition.
3. Interim Big 12 commissioner Chuck Neinas announced he will step down on July 1. The Big 12 should consider NCAA vice president Greg Shaheen for the position. Shaheen, who was responsible for coordinating the NCAA’s move from Overland Park, Kan., to Indianapolis, has been the glue for the NCAA tournament. Shaheen helped negotiate the latest television contract for the tournament with CBS and Turner and is as connected as anyone at the NCAA in college athletics. But he has to re-interview for his job after the Final Four and according to multiple sources the hierarchy at the NCAA wants him out for a change. Shaheen is too valuable in college athletics to be left idle. The Big 12 could use his vision going forward.
1. Kansas is on the verge of a possible eighth-straight Big 12 title. That’s remarkable. The Big 12 has been one of the toughest conferences in the country during that stretch.