Printable Big 12 Tournament Bracket
Pep Rally Game Time
Thurs. 3/14 10:45 AM 2:00 PM
Fri. 3/15 4:30 PM 6:30 PM
Sat. 3/16 3:15 PM 5:00 PM
Join Kansas Athletics, KU Alumni Association and fellow Jayhawk fans in Kansas City for the Big 12 Championship. The Kansas Jayhawks are taking over the Power & Light District for 2013. Join us at Z-Strike, the official Jayhawk site of Power and Light. Be sure to stop by Z-Strike, located right across the street from the Sprint Center before and after each game. Enjoy special events such as pre-game rallies featuring the KU band and spirit squad, giveaways, official Jayhawk merchandise, and food and drink specials.
Be there to help us take over the downtown Kansas City area as we cheer on the Jayhawks to another Big 12 Championship!
Can't make it? Follow the game on @KUGameday, listen in on Jayhawk Radio Network or AT&T Jayhawk All-Access.
IA, MO, KS, OK, NE, ND, SD
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Doug McDermott, Creighton
COACH OF THE YEAR
Bruce Weber, Kansas State
Markel Brown, Oklahoma State
Will Clyburn, Iowa State
Doug McDermott, Creighton
Rodney McGruder, Kansas State
Ben McLemore, Kansas
Romero Osby, Oklahoma
Phil Pressey, Missouri
Marcus Smart, Oklahoma State
Jeff Withey, Kansas
Nate Wolters, South Dakota State
During the first two seasons of his college basketball career, Kansas University guard Elijah Johnson sat in the shadows and watched the Jayhawks rack up 68 victories in 74 games.
While averaging just 11 minutes per game during those two seasons, Johnson used the pine time to study players such as Sherron Collins, Marcus and Markieff Morris, Tyshawn Taylor and Thomas Robinson as they led the Jayhawks both on the stat sheet and in the huddle.
“I learned a lot from those guys,” the 6-foot-4 senior said during a recent interview with the Journal-World. “I always thought about how I would go about it when I looked at them in different situations. ... For those first two years, I watched, I watched, I watched, and now that I’m out there it’s just slow motion to me.”
…“I think that was probably the hardest adjustment I have had here,” he said of transitioning from point guard to combo guard. “Coach never told me not to play point guard but it just felt a little different.”
Now in his final season, Johnson once again has had to fight to adjust, this time moving back to the position he always considered to be most natural.
“In my opinion, I’ve always been a point guard,” Johnson said. “Ever since I was real young, I always have been able to rally people. It’s just been a part of my character. It’s just me, really.”
…For a coach who has had nothing but clear-cut leaders at Johnson’s position since arriving at KU, Self was honest when asked to think back on his preseason assessment of the next man up.
“I probably didn’t know (if he would),” said Self regarding Johnson’s ability to lead. “But I certainly expected (it). I think he’s still growing into it. But I think he’s done well. I think guys listen to him.”
Self continued: “It’s amazing to me: you can have a great leader that’s a big guy, you can have an unbelievable talker as a four man or a guy that everybody follows his lead as a three man, but still, if you were to ask any coach, ‘Who would you want to be your leader?’ everyone would say, ‘I want my quarterback or my point guard to be that guy.’”
Now that the Jayhawks (26-5 overall, 14-4 Big 12) have just two guaranteed games remaining in Johnson’s career, Self’s hoping and expecting that his point guard will take his game to another level.
“So much of Elijah’s criticism, in my perspective, has been (because) he hasn’t made shots,” Self said. “If you make shots and you’re not a true point guard, I think that’s something people can kind of get past. Tyshawn didn’t make shots. Tyshawn was 0-for-21 in the NCAA Tournament or whatever and everybody’s talking about how great he was because he put himself in the game. I think that’s what Elijah’s gotta do the rest of the season, make sure he impacts as many possessions as he possibly can.”
“The thing about Elijah is he knows I like him, and he knows I really want him to be successful,” Self said on March 7. “I think he enjoys that freedom.”
By freedom, Self means allowing Johnson to direct traffic in games and in practice.
“I think it’s a distance relationship,” Johnson said on March 7. “He usually rides players and he kind of lets me be and lets me go on my lonesome. Sometimes we’ll go a whole practice and he’ll say nothing to me, whether I’m messing up or not. I feel like that’s the best way for him to get to me.”
He’s also shared great moments with Self. Whether it was after his masterful 39-point performance when he was mobbed by his teammates in the locker room as Self stood with a giant grin on his face clapping on the court or when Johnson presented Self with his 500th game ball at Saturday’s game.
The two seem to have figured each other out enough to help the team succeed.
“I love coach Self, man,” Johnson said. “He’s always a step ahead. He knows what’s best for you before you even know sometimes. He don’t make it easy on you, so I get a kick out of that from him.”
Johnson remembers Taylor getting ripped in the papers and on the Internet, and walking into the locker room with a smile on his face the next day. He remembers the positivity from Taylor. He remembers Taylor worried about playing not talking — Twitter notwithstanding.
According to Taylor, that’s always the hardest part: when things start to go bad on the court your body can turn on you real fast.
“Your mind is telling you to do something and your body just isn’t doing it,” Taylor said. “You’re shooting the same way every time and some shots just aren’t going in. Then you get off the court and you have to hear about it from people that are supposed to support you.”
Taylor knew the only way Johnson could get back in fans’ good graces was for those shots to start falling. When Johnson started to heat up against Iowa State, Taylor knew what would happen as soon as he stepped off the court: Johnson would be treated like a hero.
Taylor also knew something else. Johnson didn’t have to apologize for the dunk, but he also didn’t have to dunk at all.
“I was telling myself he might as well stop at the three point line and try to hit 40,” Taylor said. “I was thinking pull up.”
When the often-serious Johnson heard that, even he couldn’t hold back a smile. He giggled just long enough to collect his thoughts.
“If I deserved 40,” Johnson said. “I would have made one of those threes earlier in the game.”
Naadir Tharpe never takes for granted how far he has come, but he realizes he still has a ways to go. He has his sights set on reaching the Final Four.
The 5-foot-11, 170-pound sophomore from Worcester is the backup point guard for the Kansas University Jayhawks, a team with a legitimate chance to win the NCAA championship.
“I feel like we have a good chance of making that happen,” Tharpe said in a telephone interview from campus. “It all depends upon us staying focused and how bad we want it.”
…Playing for an NCAA championship contender was just a dream while Tharpe scored 1,000 points in only two years for St. Peter-Marian High.
“It's just a blessing,” Tharpe said. “Coming from back home, not a lot of people are known for going big-time and going to high major programs, but I was able to have people guiding me and I was able to go to prep school and play at St. Peter-Marian and get those chances to have a different lifestyle. It's just a tremendous accomplishment and it's exciting to be here.”
Tharpe's brother and mentor, Tishaun Jenkins, a Salem State Hall of Fame basketball player who still lives in Worcester, urged him to go to prep school to play against better competition. So Tharpe transferred to Brewster Academy in Wolfeboro, N.H., and helped the Bobcats win the national prep school championship in 2010.
Last year as a freshman at Kansas, Tharpe averaged only 5.5 minutes and less than a point and an assist.
“I was basically that guy who was cheering from the bench,” Tharpe said, “cheering on my teammates. It was tough.”
Tharpe hadn't sat on the bench since he made the Friendly House All-Star team at age 8.
“I wasn't supposed to be on the team,” Tharpe recalled. “I was too young. You were supposed to be 9.”
Tharpe was determined to play more this season, so he spent more time shooting in the gym, worked out to get stronger and strived to improve his defense.
“Defensively, he is better,” Kansas coach Bill Self said. “He went from being a combo guard last year to more of a point guard this year in how to utilize his teammates.”
This year, he has played in all 31 games and averages 5.2 points and 2.8 assists in 18.8 minutes. He hasn't, however, shot as well as he would have liked, just 32.5 percent.
“I still see myself as a great shooter,” Tharpe said. “Coach feels I'm a great shooter. If I need to hit a shot, I feel like I can hit the shot.”
Tharpe proved that when he drained a 12-foot jumper with 20 seconds left in the second overtime to give Kansas a 68-67 victory at Oklahoma State on Feb. 20. Tharpe had made only 1 of 10 shots prior to that, but he was confident nevertheless.
“That whole game was weird to me,” Tharpe said. “A lot of those shots I was taking, I felt like they were good shots. I didn't really take any bad shots at all. They were open shots. It felt like when I was shooting, it was going to go in. I just kind of felt one of these shots were going to go in. Coach Self, he constantly told me, 'You're going to make a shot tonight.' ”
…Tharpe would love to become the first basketball player from Worcester to play for an NCAA champion since Dwayne McClain led Villanova in scoring in its 1985 title game victory over Georgetown.
“I take pride in back home and everybody,” said Tharpe, who returns to Worcester each summer. “This is more than just me playing basketball here for myself. I'm able to play for my city as well. It's just a good feeling.”
In his Kansas bio, Tharpe listed his daughter, Amara, who turned 1 on Jan. 21, as his most prized possession. Amara, who lives in Worcester, will be at the Big 12 Tournament this week and attended a handful of regular-season games at Kansas.
“She's getting big now,” Tharpe said. “It's funny to see how she's interacting with everybody and how she's interacting with the game. I look up and she's in the stands, she's bouncing up and down. It's beautiful to see that.”
After backing up senior Elijah Johnson this season, Tharpe expects to start next year.
“Definitely,” he said. “I've had two years under my belt. I know what coach expects, I know what's needed, I know what we have to do to win.”
“The sixth seed just beat us by 20,” Self said. “The No. 5 seed (Iowa State) had us down in both games. I think there’s less margin for error than ever. What matters is getting your team focused and ready. Guys have to step up and make plays.”
Back in Pollard’s days, the Jayhawks were Final Four contenders and that meant villain status in every building in which they played.
“You just have that target on your back,” Pollard says.
Life on the road means more intense insults, louder boos and the ability to sense when an arena tilts from excited to outright hostile. Pollard jokes that he waited for the batteries and coins to start flying.
The same special quality is needed to play at Kansas in the current era: To embrace the hate.
“We love it,” Kansas senior Kevin Young says. “We say, ‘We just gotta have a party in the other team’s locker room.’ ”
This week, on the heels of a shared title with K-State, the Jayhawks will roll into town as the pre-eminent favorite at the Big 12 tournament. They will play just 40 miles from campus. (If Iowa State or Oklahoma State fans need another reason to despise KU, well, there you go.) And the rest of the league will take its shot at Big 12 basketball’s equivalent of the “Evil Empire.”
It was once said by Italian thinker Machiavelli that it was better for royalty to be feared than loved. Well, when it comes to Big 12 basketball, the Jayhawks are simply hated.
“We,” Self says on an early winter day in Lawrence, “get everyone’s best shot.”
…A popular Iowa State website has created an online petition to restore Iowa State’s home-court winning streak, calling the game a “travesty” and Big 12 “conspiracy.”
“There’s just a lot of resentment,” said Gabe Hibben, 28, who contributes to the blog. “I think that’s one of those games that a fan base will remember 15 years from now.”
For his part, Hibben said he’s not among the hardcore Big 12 “truthers,” but the bitterness toward Kansas has festered as the conference streak has reached new heights.
“It just comes with the territory,” he said.
It’s also rekindled old fights. Likes those between in-state rivals.
“You look back at it, it ultimately cost K-State the outright title,” says Craig Rose, a K-State fan from Manhattan. “I think there is a little something to it.”
On game days, Rose dons a mask and takes on the persona of the “K-State Mask,” a cultish figure among fellow Wildcats. But he isn’t necessarily talking about deep-rooted conspiracies. Just an opinion that Kansas does tend to get most of the calls at Allen Fieldhouse — like most home teams do.
“I don’t think it’s KU’s fault,” Rose said. “I don’t think they advocate it. When you’re so well-coached and so good, sometimes it gets in the ref’s mind that it wasn’t (KU’s) mistake.”
…Earlier this season, Travis Releford said he couldn’t repeat some of the stuff he heard at Bramlage Coliseum. And on that night at Hilton, Self winked at the Iowa State student section after he picked up an early technical.
“The road games have been fun,” Young says, “They have been hostile.”
For years, Self has told his team the same message: Games at Allen Fieldhouse are special, but nothing can compare to going on the road and getting a win.
“The best feeling in the world,” Johnson says.
…To the rest of the Big 12 hoops programs, the “Evil Empire” is alive and well. And the day the hate stops, Pollard says, is the day he’ll start worrying about his school.
“When somebody does beat Kansas, they storm the floor,” Pollard says. “That is a great thing.”
“Nebraska’s a great place, but you’re talking about a whole different deal here when it comes to basketball,” said Sadler, the first-year operations director at Kansas. “When you’re talking about basketball, I think obviously everybody knows it starts at Kansas. Very, very few people have had the opportunity to be in the inner circle of that throughout the history.”
Sadler’s Nebraska teams never finished better than seventh in the Big 12, so this is his chance to see how the other half lives. Working at KU has been an eye-opener, he said, and the kind of experience a basketball lifer can appreciate.
“I’ve had the opportunity to be a head coach, to coach against great people, coach in some great arenas, but there’s not going to be anything that’s going to compare to being able to be here actually working at the University of Kansas in the basketball part of it,” he said.
…Sadler had his own decision to make after being let go at Nebraska. He discussed jobs with several NBA teams and dabbled in TV work for ESPN, serving as a color commentator for one game in the NIT.
Sadler’s drawl wasn’t a drawback for the network — “I come to find out it was one of the things they liked,” he said — but he couldn’t pass on the chance to work for Self.
“I never dreamed that this would be an opportunity, but when it was extended to me, I threw all the other things out the door as fast as I could and got down here before he changed his mind,” Sadler said.
As director of basketball operations, Sadler coordinates KU’s team travel and handles other administrative tasks. NCAA rules prohibit him from coaching in practice, but Self values the input of someone who knows life outside the bubble of KU hoops.
“When you’ve been at different places and you’ve labored at different places, you see what brings a team together from your vantage point and what doesn’t,” Self said. “I think he’s been really good for me as far as knowing when to put the foot down or when to take it off a little bit.”
Sadler wants to be a head coach again, and this is the time when the coaching carousel starts to spin. (Barry Hinson, KU’s previous operations director, was hired at Southern Illinois on March 28 last year.) After working at KU, though, he sees the value in being selective.
“If I do it, I want it to be in a situation where I have a legitimate opportunity to win basketball games, where things are important to people and they want to win,” Sadler said. “I see how much goes into it here. Obviously the players and the coaches do so much, but they also have a lot of support.”
In the meantime, Sadler is savoring the experiences he missed out on at Nebraska. His last trip to the NCAA Tournament came as the coach at UTEP in 2005, and he’s learned just how rare these opportunities can be.
“The one thing I haven’t done is ever coached or been on the bench in a Final Four,” Sadler said. “I’d love that opportunity, and with things falling the way that they may fall, there’s an opportunity to do that.
“That’s all I’m concerned about right now is the next month, doing whatever I can to help this team reach its full potential.”
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Big 12/College News
ESPN: Big 12 Tournament Preview
Yahoo: Big 12 Tournament Preview
BIG 12 TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE
First-round games: Wednesday, March 13
• No. 8 seed West Virginia vs. No. 9 seed Texas Tech, 6 p.m. on KMCI (Ch. 38)
• No. 7 seed Texas vs. No. 10 seed TCU, 8:30 p.m. on KMCI (Ch. 38)
Quarterfinals: Thursday, March 14
• No. 4 seed Oklahoma vs. No. 5 seed Iowa State, 11:30 a.m. on KMCI (Ch. 38)
• No. 1 seed Kansas vs. West Virginia-Texas Tech winner, 2 p.m. on KMCI (Ch. 38)
• No. 2 seed Kansas State vs. Texas-TCU winner, 6 p.m. on KMCI (Ch. 38)
• No. 3 seed Oklahoma State vs. No. 6 seed Baylor, 8:30 p.m. on KMCI (Ch. 38)
Semifinals: Friday, March 15
• 6:30 and 9 p.m. on ESPNU and KMCI (Ch. 38)
Championship: Saturday, March 16
• 5 p.m. on ESPN
Big 12 Tourney Info for KC Visitors
BIG 12: March 13-16 in Kansas City.
In the Dance: Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma.
On the bubble: Iowa State, Baylor.
Everyone else must win the tournament.
Top seed: Kansas (16). Who else? The Jayhawks were actually tied for the league title by Kansas State, but still retained the No. 1 seed by sweeping the Wildcats.
Hot team: Kansas State had won six straight and 10 of its last 11 before a loss at Oklahoma State on Saturday. No shame in a six-point defeat in Gallagher-Iba Arena.
Best player: Marcus Smart (17) of Oklahoma State, in a tough call over fellow freshman Ben McLemore of Kansas. Smart has been a bit more well-rounded and is hugely responsible for the Cowboys' improvement from 15-18 last year to 23-7 this year.
Best coach: Bill Self (18) of Kansas. Last year might have been his best coaching job, taking the Jayhawks to the national title game after another Big 12 title. But this year hasn't been too shabby either. Kansas isn't out of the No. 1 seed discussion if it wins this tourney.
...Tom Crean (1) has been fitted for a black hat in postseason play. Video of the Indiana coach's confrontation with Michigan assistant Jeff Meyer on Sunday – as Yahoo! Sports reported, the continuation of a disagreement in the handshake line – after a thrilling Hoosiers comeback victory was a nationwide buzz item Monday. (Best part: assistant Tim Buckley trying to cover the camera lens with his hand while dragging Crean away from the fray, like a lawyer hustling a celebrity defendant past the paparazzi and into a courthouse.) Crean proactively apologized to Meyer on the phone Sunday and to the public via the Big Ten teleconference Monday morning, but the video will stay in heavy rotation as long as the Hoosiers remain alive over the next month.
Prior to that, Crean caught flak for a net-cutting ceremony in Assembly Hall last Tuesday night to celebrate clinching a share of the Big Ten title – thing is, it followed a loss to Ohio State. Crean also had some words for Buckeyes point guard Aaron Craft in the handshake line after that game. All this, coming on the heels of publicly questioning the Big Ten's Player of the Week selection methods and the Cody Zeller/Derrick Nix GroinGate issue, has made Crean the least-liked Hoosier since The General himself.
…Lansing (Mich.) State-Journal columnist Graham Couch ignited a race-related imbroglio in late February with a blog post asserting that Ohio State guard Aaron Craft (6) is overly valued by the media because "he's a rosy-cheeked white guy." Couch then doubled down on his stance more recently, and it became a rather hot topic on the greatest radio show in the history of the planet, "Wetzel To Forde," on Yahoo! Sports Radio last week.
The Minutes believes Couch is wrong, and believes Craft has earned all the love he's received. But the notion of excessively hyped white players in college basketball is neither new nor completely out of line.
Should the Big 12 Tournament be played in a state that has no Big 12 school? What’s next? Albuquerque? New Orleans?
“Well, it’s right across the river,” Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said, and in truth, it’s not even that through parts of KC, including downtown. You can just walk across the state line. “I know that’s a significant distinction, but Kansas City’s had a rich relationship with the Big Eight and now the Big 12.
“We just extended the contract to go through the 2016 tournament. And I feel very good about the Sprint Center and I feel very good about the organizing folks in Kansas City and the group they’ve put together to manage the thing.
“I wouldn’t suggest to you that it’s going to be in Kansas City forever. But the University of Kansas is a pretty dominant force in Kansas City, and a little bit of geography shouldn’t get in the way of a good relationship.”
Here’s the truth. Bowlsby is right. Kansas City is the best place for the Big 12 Tournament. We loved having it here in OKC, and we did a great job with it in 2007, though not quite as great a job in 2009. But Thundermania has cooled Oklahoma City’s desire to host such events, even though the All Sports Association still does a fantastic job soliciting and staging such events.
It doesn’t feel right to stage the Big 12 Tournament in a non-Big 12 state, but rest assured, Kansas City is a Big 12 city.
It’s not Kansas City’s fault that Missouri bolted. In fact, you want to stick it to Mizzou? Keep playing the tournament in KC. Keep showing the Tigers and their legions of fans, many of whom reside in Greater KC, what they’re missing.
“College basketball tournaments are a franchise to Kansas City,” said Kathy Nelson, president of the Kansas City Sports Commission. “It’s always been that way.”
Look at what’s coming, and its origins.
The first of 31 NAIA Tournament games tips off at 9 a.m. today in Municipal Auditorium. College basketball’s oldest tournament started in Kansas City in 1937.
The Big 12 men’s basketball tournament starts at 6 p.m. in the Sprint Center. The conference tournament idea started in Kansas City as a holiday affair in 1946 and a holiday or postseason tournament has been in Kansas City in all but a handful of years ever since.
Next week, opening-round regional games for the 75th NCAA Tournament appropriately arrive at the Sprint Center. The first NCAA Tournament wasn’t played in Kansas City, but the second one was, and the event that would grow into March Madness took root here.
In all, 49 teams will play 46 tournament games over eight of the next 12 days.
But there are some changes this year.
The Big 12 women played elsewhere. For the first time, the Big 12 split up the men’s and women’s tournaments at different times and locations, which happens often in other conferences. The women wrapped up their tournament Monday as No. 1 Baylor defeated Iowa State before 8,662 at American Airlines Center in Dallas.
But the biggest change is the Big 12 lineup. Absent is the home-state team.
Mizzou opens play Thursday in the SEC Tournament in Nashville, Tenn. Replacing the Tigers and Texas A&M in the Big 12 are West Virginia and TCU, which are part of the schedule tonight at the Sprint Center.
“Last year, I was super excited about the tournament here,” said Bill Sosna, who grew up a Kansas fan, attended Missouri and reveled in the Tigers’ triumph in their final Big 12 men’s basketball tournament last March.
“This year, it just feels weird. It’s like some of the city is turned in a different direction.”
Unless the Tigers are assigned a spot in the NCAA second- and third-round games March 24 and 26 at the Sprint Center, Missouri will not have played a football or men’s basketball game in Kansas City this school year.
Danny Manning walks with a slight hitch. The human body wasn't designed to stand nearly 7-feet tall anyway. Then go cutting on the knees time after time, and it takes a toll on the stroll.
Yet Manning is thankful for the injuries that led to three knee surgeries and might have kept him from becoming one of basketball's greatest players. All those injuries forced Manning to study his sport. A fundamentally sound player to begin with, Manning became a basketball scholar. He came to deeply understand the game he played so well.
“The longer I played, I looked at the game differently,” Manning said the other day from his University of Tulsa office. When you're 6-foot-10 and skilled like a guard, basketball comes easy. But after Manning had two catastrophic knee injuries, he began to embrace concepts like technique and details.
“What can I do to create an advantage for myself?” Manning asked. “I studied my opponent, trying to gain an advantage through anticipation. Might give you a step in that direction before it happens.”
He played 15 NBA seasons, plus those four glorious years at Kansas in the 1980s. That's 19 years of top-shelf basketball. “The older you get, the slower you get,” Manning said. “I studied the game.”
Which explains why Manning is in Tulsa as head coach of a once-proud TU program that wants to get back in the March Madness business.
Manning, a college basketball giant at Kansas in stature and in deed, nears the end of his first season at Tulsa. His 16-14 Golden Hurricane, an overachiever by any measurement, plays East Carolina at 9:30 p.m. Thursday in the first round of the Conference USA Tournament at Tulsa's BOK Center.
“We have high aspirations,” said TU President Steadman Upham. “We're hungry to get back … to the (NCAA) tournament.”
Louisville coach Rick Pitino says he values relationships with his players, so he harbors concerns about the ability to forge deep relationships with freshmen who jump to the NBA after just one season.
And Kentucky's John Calipari says such sentiments usually are expressed by coaches who can't land elite-level prospects.
Comments made by the two coaching rivals to USA TODAY Sports illuminate a debate of one of the sport's most controversial issues in recent years. Coaching one-and-done players can come with a mixed bag of pros and cons.
Participants in this year’s Division I men’s and women’s Final Fours will receive NCAA gift packages worth approximately $750, including a Jostens ring in a commemorative wooden display box and a piece of the court from the championship weekend, according to the NCAA.
A maximum of 25 members of each men’s team will receive, among other items, an Apple TV and a Final Four bench chair. Members of the Women’s Final Four teams will receive a tumbler with an ESPN logo (reflecting the network partner for the tournament), a bench towel and a Women’s Final Four game ball inside a display cube.
Watches will be given to all 3,300 participants in the two tournaments this month, but only the 200 Final Four participants will receive a watch with the Final Four logo.
The total estimated value of the NCAA’s tournament gifts this year is $320,000.
The gift-giving is part of the annual end-of-season college basketball tournament experience, just as football players receive gifts as part of their bowl-game experiences each fall. Gifts are presented for both conference tournament and NCAA tournament play.
For participating in this month’s conference tournaments, up to 25 gift packages can be provided to a team by its school and by its conference, according to NCAA bylaws. An unlimited number of additional packages can be bought and given to guests, such as sponsors and media partners. Those tournament-related gifts are on top of regular-season participation packages that are available to the players. Additional packages for championship wins are also allowed.
The gifts can add up. For example, a senior — seniors are allowed to receive more than underclassmen — on a team that runs the table and wins championships for the regular season, postseason conference tournament and NCAA tournament could secure a total gift haul valued at up to $3,780.
The monetary limits set up by the NCAA are similar across most men’s and women’s sports and sanctioned events, and the levels are the same as they were during the 2011-12 school year. There are variances based on whether the sport is individual- or team-based, among other factors.
Among conferences, the Big 12 this year is joining at least five other conferences that are offering gift suites as a reward to players and coaches who are participating in their championship tournaments. This type of offering is one where players and coaches can go online to a targeted website and select from a catalog of items instead of each participant receiving a preselected gift from the conference.
Last year, the Big 12 handed out 600 Dynex 32-inch flat-screen televisions to participants as its gifts. In 2011, it gave an iPod touch to each participant.
Bob Burda, associate commissioner of communications at the Big 12, said the reason for the switch to a gift suite was to give the participants a variety in the gifts they could receive.
Following are gifts and number of gift packages provided by Division I basketball conferences and the NCAA to players competing in their men’s and women’s basketball tournaments this month.
Big 12 (600): Online gift suite, from which players are able to select one of the following: Beats Solo headphones with music cards; Dyson fan; Bose SoundDock Series II; Canon PowerShot camera; Jawbone Big Jambox; Michael Kors ladies watch and wristlet; Michael Kors ladies tote; luggage; Maui Jim men’s sunglasses; Maui Jim women’s sunglasses; Samsung Galaxy tablet; Diesel men’s watch
More at the link
Forgive me if I don't care about BE ending-Missouri had played KU/KState combined over 300x before this year
Now we understand what it must have felt like to watch the warm-up band at the Beatles last concert. The opening round of the final Big East Tournament as we know it had a similar feeling last night. It’s hard to get excited when you know greatness is about to end.
The dismantling of one of the most storied college basketball conferences ever won’t truly hit home until Syracuse, Georgetown, Pitt and Louisville take the court and the finality of it all starts to become a reality. That’s why last night’s opening round felt like more of a nuisance than nostalgic.
No disrespect to Seton Hall which needed overtime to defeat South Florida, 46-42, and Rutgers, which defeated DePaul 76-57 in the late game, but last night will not rank among the classic evenings in the tournament’s long history.
The Hall survived and advanced, which is what March is all about. But it needed overtime to tie the conference record for the lowest point total by a winning team set by Georgetown in 2003. The two teams combined to shoot 9-of-44 from three-point range and 31 percent from the field. It took two free throws by junior forward Fuquan Edwin with nine tenths of a second remaining to push past the lowest combined point total of 87 set when Georgetown defeated Villanova 46-41 in that ’03 game.