Dallas Colleges: Missouri
Oklahoma State and Texas were national powers. Oklahoma had recently won a national championship (1994). Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Missouri and Baylor were stout, too.
Times, however, have changed.
For the first time since 1997, only four Big 12 teams will participate in NCAA regionals. And had Missouri not secured an automatic berth by winning the Big 12 tournament, that number could have easily been three.
Big 12 regular-season champion Baylor is one of the eight national seeds. Texas A&M also earned the right to host a regional. And Oklahoma, which lost to Missouri in the conference tournament title game, also advanced to the postseason thanks to its late-season surge.
But the rest of the league will watch the regionals from home, including the Cowboys and Longhorns, who both went two-and-out in the Big 12 tournament to seal their exclusion.
Read the rest of the story here.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Missouri is leaving the Big 12 on top.
Kim English capped a phenomenal conference tournament with 19 points, Phil Pressey added 15 points and eight assists, and the fifth-ranked Tigers beat No. 12 Baylor 90-75 on Saturday night to win their second championship in the past four years.
The Tigers (30-4), who led from start to finish, will head off to the Southeastern Conference next year savoring a title in coach Frank Haith's first season in charge.
English wound up 29 of 40 from the field in a virtuoso performance in Kansas City. Michael Dixon added 17 points, and Ricardo Ratliffe and Marcus Denmon had 15 each.
Perry Jones III led Baylor (27-7) with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Brady Heslip scored 14 and Deuce Bello came off the bench to add 13 for the Bears, who were turned away short of their first conference tournament title since 1950.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Missouri fans grumbling about not getting to play Kansas in the Big 12 title game will get no sympathy from Kim English.
The Tigers' star guard will not hear of it. After scoring 23 points in a bruising 81-67 victory over Texas in the semifinals Friday night, he's just happy to be in the championship game against anybody as his school bids farewell to the Big 12.
"We would have played Texas Tech, Iowa State, Oklahoma State, Baylor, Texas, anybody," English said. "We just want to win the Big 12."
The second-seeded Tigers (29-4) will meet No. 12 Baylor, which upset No. 3 Kansas 81-72 in the earlier semifinal. The Bears (27-6), swept in two games against Missouri in the regular season, will be seeking the first championship by a Texas team in the tournament's 16-year history.
"We played Baylor my freshman year to win the Big 12 tournament," said English. "Our coaches didn't come here earlier (Friday) to scout Kansas. They came here to see what both teams did. We will prepare to beat Baylor tomorrow."
The Tigers, who are heading to the Southeastern Conference this year, got a career-high 23 points from Phil Pressey and led Texas almost the entire way. Ricardo Ratliffe had 18 points and 14 rebounds for the Tigers.
In the second half, English hobbled into the tunnel with a leg injury and Texas' J'Covan Brown, the Big 12's leading scorer, went to the bench after crashing into a cluster of photographers behind the basket. Neither stayed out of the game for long.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Kim English scored 27 points and led a 26-5 first-half run, and No. 5 Missouri swamped short-handed Oklahoma State, 88-70, on Thursday night in the Big 12 quarterfinals.
Marcus Denmon added 24 points, and Phil Pressey had 12 assists, one short of Missouri's school record. The Tigers also outrebounded the Cowboys 40-20.
The Tigers (28-4), who set a school record with 27 regular-season victories, played much of the game as though they have something to prove while heading out the door for the Southeastern Conference- a move that has earned the animosity of many soon-to-be former Big 12 peers.
In the semifinals Friday, they will play the winner of the Texas-Iowa State game with many fans hoping for a championship game showdown Saturday with archrival and third-ranked Kansas.
English had 21 of his points in the rapid-fire first half, which ended with Missouri on top 49-24. Denmon, a two-time All-Big 12 guard, had 17 in the second half.
Keiton Page had 22 points for Oklahoma State, and Brian Williams had 21.
NORMAN, Okla. -- Distraught.
That’s the best word to describe the reaction of Steven Pledger after Oklahoma’s 71-68 loss to Missouri at the Lloyd Noble Center on Monday night.
And it wasn’t his potential game-tying, missed 3-pointer as time expired that will make sleep difficult to come by for OU’s leading scorer. It was missed free throws, both by Pledger (1-of-4) and his teammates (9-of-23), that the Sooners guard will remember for the next week.
“I feel like I let my team down,” said Pledger, who was visibly upset during postgame interviews. “Missed free throws, missed some shots I should knock down. I shoot 90 percent from the line, there’s no reason I should be missing free throws. I make free throws, the shot never happens.”
Player of the Game: Pledger was outstanding in the game, finishing with 22 points on 8 of 14 shooting including 5 of 9 on 3-point attempts. But he had four turnovers to go along with his performance at the free throw line.
Unsung Hero: Sam Grooms. The junior point guard is playing better and better as the season progresses. He had 17 points and 10 assists against the Tigers. Grooms was 7 of 9 shooting from the field as Missouri forced him to prove he could make outside shots and he did.
Key Stat: 28. The Tigers finished with 28 points in the paint even though Missouri rarely feeds the ball inside. Ricardo Ratliffe was active and efficient inside with 15 points on 6 of 6 shooting with 10 rebounds.
“We keep telling our guys afterwards, ‘Good battle and good work, but we’ve got to keep doing things from a habit standpoint to have more good possessions in a ball game, enough to get over the hump against good basketball teams.’” -- OU coach Lon Kruger
“It is hard to explain because we have shot free throws very well. Certainly Pledge is one of the top shooters in the country. When you play the game long enough, it will happen, unfortunately.” -- Kruger on the Sooners free throw shooting.
“It was perfect. The play was designed to miss the free throw and get the tip-out and we actually got the tip-out. It was on line; it felt good when it left my hand. It didn’t go in.” -- Pledger on his final miss.
“We talked about not losing and never letting them take the lead. That's a sign of a good team. I think once they made runs, we executed when we needed to make a shot." -- Missouri coach Frank Haith on his team responding to OU runs.
“I had seen the shot clock going down and we hadn't scored in a couple of possessions, and I knew that we needed to get a basket. I was fortunate enough to make the shot." -- guard Marcus Denmon on his key shot late in the game.
Up Next: OU travels to Lubbock, Texas where they will face Texas Tech on Saturday at 7 p.m. CT.
Sept. 8: GEORGIA
Sept. 22: at South Carolina
Oct. 6: VANDERBILT
Oct. 13: ALABAMA
Oct. 27: KENTUCKY
Nov. 3: at Florida
Nov. 10: at Tennessee
Nov. 24: at Texas A&M
Texas Tech football coach Tommy Tuberville was interviewed by ESPN 103.3 FM's Ian Fitzsimmons after reports came out that West Virginia would be coming to the Big 12 if Missouri leaves for the SEC. Tuberville made it clear West Virginia wasn't his first choice, and he hopes the conference looks to expand in the future.
Asked what he thought about adding West Virginia to the Big 12:
“I don’t know. The jury’s going to still be out on that. It’s hard to get to West Virginia. Man, I don’t know whether these people realize … because you’ve got to go to Pittsburgh and then you’ve got an hour and a half ride to Morgantown. It’s a great place. It’s just an excellent college town and they play very good football. I’ve coached many games there. It’s a heck of an atmosphere. “
“The travel for basketball, baseball, everybody involved is a little different. I thought it would be Louisville. I thought they would be a better fit for the situation for the Big 12. West Virginia’s going to be great. It’s just the distance and travel is going to be different for everybody and just being able to get there and for fans to get in and out. But it’s a great school a lot of tradition …”
“It’s a good fit for football. Whether it fits everybody else, I don’t know.”
“(Tech officials) asked me and I told them either one’s fine. It’s just the logistics for football are going to be a lot better because you only have to go one time every two years. “
Asked if he preferred 10 or 12 schools in conference?
“I’d rather have 12. I’d rather have a conference championship game and it’s funny coming from a coach who used to not like that. It’s a situation where we could get shut out even though a team might go undefeated that year without playing a championship game. You don’t need that chance.”
Asked what he thinks about the state of the Big 12:
“It’s gonna be fine. Look at TCU coming in. I hated to lose A&M, their tradition and rivalries, but TCU will bring a lot to the table. It’s going to help them tremendously. They’ll grow and expand. Gary (Patterson) has already got it to a point, but this will help it that much more.”
“With Missouri leaving, I don’t think … I hate to lose them, but it’s not like a Texas team. It’s not like a team from this state. We hate to lose that TV market, but now we go to the Pittsburgh, West Virginia area and we’ll have a TV market there.”
What teams would he go after to get to 12 teams?
“Travel destinations for our fans. A lot of people would think I’m crazy, but I would go after San Diego State and I’d go after Tulane. They both have great stadiums. Both would grow immensely if they went to a conference like this. I know right now, one, San Diego State is doing pretty good. Tulane is not, but they’ve got the Superdome, they’ve got New Orleans for people to go in and out. I think you look at things like that and TV markets.”
Things are a bit shorter this year, dropping from three days to two as the conference has dropped from 12 teams to 10.
Today, we'll hear from players and coaches at Oklahoma State, Baylor, Missouri, Texas and Texas A&M. So keep it right here on our college blog for updates on what's being talked about as we get your ready for the 2011 football season.
Who gets the golden ticket? There are a few options. Let's take a look (in order of what we think):
1. Utah. The Utes are in the Salt Lake City television market, one that would certainly have some appeal in the Pac 10. They would bring the conference another strong football program and one that has also had some success in the past in basketball. Geographically, they make sense. (This is yet another reason why the MWC went out and got Boise State on Friday.)
2. Kansas. One of the most storied basketball programs in the country would be out of the immediate expansion if A&M goes to the Pac 10. But if they don't, the league might like the idea of adding such a strong basketball school to the conference. It would no doubt help the overall pedigree of the conference. (That's assuming Kansas and Kansas State aren't a package deal).
3. Missouri. Spurned by the Big 10, the Tigers will be looking around for a home. Rumors have circulated that some of the other current Big 12 schools aren't thrilled with them, but maybe that wouldn't matter to get the St. Louis television market. Again, from an expansion point of view, they work.
4. TCU. I've heard some folks mention this idea, but I'm not sure the Pac 10 needs the Frogs. If this is about media markets -- and for the most part it is -- the Pac 10 doesn't need TCU since it has the key Texas markets with the addition of its other teams. It would be fun to see the Frogs play some old Southwest Conference foes, but I can't think an invitation would be headed to Fort Worth.
5. Baylor. Again, a school on the outside looking in for now. There would certainly be a push from the state legislature to get Baylor in place of A&M should the Aggies go to the SEC. But that might not be enough. Certainly, the Pac 10 doesn't need Baylor (same reason as TCU). And if they decided to go another Texas school, TCU seems more attractive because of its football program.
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Part 2 of the articles on OSU's involvment in academic fraud was released. Some claim the expose is unfounded. Ian and Richard warn that there are two sides to all stories.
Play Podcast Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss Mack Brown, Manny Diaz and all the latest with the Texas Longhorns.
Play Podcast Fitzsimmons and Durrett give you the latest on the Johnny Manziel story and Charles Barkley weighs in. You won't believe who the outspoken NBA Hall of Famer is disappointed in and what he thinks about the autograph allegations.
Play Podcast Kirk Herbstreit joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett for his weekly visit to preview the 2013 college football season.
Play Podcast Former TCU and current Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the expectations for the Bengals this season, give a prediction for the TCU-LSU game and talk about what it's like having the Hard Knocks cameras follow him.
Play Podcast Randy Galloway, Matt Mosley, and Mark Friedman react to Dez Bryant's comments regarding the NCAA's ongoing investigation of Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel.
Play Podcast Richard Durrett, Ian Fitzsimmons and Glenn "Stretch" Smith react to Dez Bryant sounding off yesterday after practice about Johnny Manziel and the shadiness of the NCAA.
Play Podcast Former NCAA investigator and Big 12 commissioner Dan Beebe joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to weigh in on the Johnny Manziel drama and give some insight as to what goes on during an NCAA investigation.