5 things to know from Big 12 basketball media days: 2024 plans amid expansion and more

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Big 12 Basketball Media Days 2024: Key Takeaways on Expansion and Future Plans

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As college basketball gears up for another thrilling season, Big 12 Commissioner Brett Yormark took the opportunity to share some key updates on the state of the conference during the inaugural day of the Big 12 basketball media days held at the T-Mobile Center. The 2024 landscape is set to welcome four new programs, though it won’t include Texas and Oklahoma. In their place, Arizona, Arizona State, Utah, and Colorado are set to join the Big 12, ushering in a new era for the conference. Here’s a closer look at the topics Yormark delved into on this significant occasion in Kansas City:

1. Future Scheduling Challenges

Yormark affirmed that the Big 12 is actively exploring alterations to its scheduling for both men’s and women’s basketball in the upcoming season. The arrival of new member institutions will introduce some logistical challenges, especially when it comes to travel for certain teams. Yormark emphasized that the conference places a high priority on addressing these travel issues, taking into consideration factors such as geography, competitive balance, historic matchups, and rivalries. While no concrete decisions have been made yet, Yormark indicated that a 20-game schedule for men’s basketball and an 18-game schedule for women’s basketball might be in the conference’s future.

2. Keeping Conference Tournaments in Kansas City

In a significant development, the Big 12’s men’s and women’s basketball conference tournaments will now officially share the same venue, starting this season. Historically, the women’s tournament was held at Kansas City’s Municipal Arena. In 2024, the women’s tournament, scheduled for March 7-12, will precede the men’s tournament, a move that allows both events to take place at the T-Mobile Center. Yormark expressed his excitement at this new arrangement and hinted at discussions regarding the possibility of extending the basketball tournaments’ stay in Kansas City for another eight years, possibly until 2031.

3. No Definitive Decisions on Expansion

Recent reports had hinted at discussions between the Big 12 and Gonzaga regarding potential expansion, with the aim of having Gonzaga join the conference for the 2024-25 season. However, Yormark refrained from commenting on these expansion speculations during his media days address. He did reiterate the conference’s commitment to strengthening itself when the right opportunity arises. Yormark made it clear that if a suitable opportunity presented itself, he would explore it to enhance the Big 12.

4. 2024 Football Schedule Release Date

Fans who have been keeping track of the Big 12’s schedule release timelines might recall the deliberate pace at which the 2023 football schedule was unveiled, not arriving until January. With the conference expanding to 16 teams next year, Yormark aims to speed up the process. He suggested that the 2024 football schedule could potentially be unveiled as early as December or late November, with the goal of providing fans with a quicker look at what’s in store for the upcoming season.

5. Yormark Defends the Big 12

Yormark didn’t miss the opportunity to defend the Big 12’s stature as the nation’s premier basketball conference. This came in response to comments made by UConn coach Dan Hurley, who recently claimed on a podcast that the Big East was the top basketball conference in the country by a significant margin. Yormark pointed to historical data, tournament performances, and television ratings to back his case, asserting that the Big 12 is one of the deepest conferences in America. While he acknowledged Hurley’s credentials and UConn’s program, he expressed his willingness to debate the claim.

Reference:

https://www.dallasnews.com/sports/college-sports/2023/10/17/5-things-to-know-from-big-12-basketball-media-days-2024-plans-amid-expansion-and-more/

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