Morning Coffee Slides Into Tournament Mode

Friday morning tip. With yesterday's 62-57 win over Oklahoma State, the Longhorns clinched the Big 12 championship and the conference's #1 seed in the Big 12 tournament. First up for the 'Horns is a date with the winner of #8 Texas Tech and #9 Oklahoma State. Texas' quarterfinal game will be a Friday, 11:30 a.m. tip, to be televised on ESPN Plus (Big 12 markets) and ESPNU (nationally). If Texas advances to the semifinals, they would play Saturday at 1:00 p.m. The tournament finals are Sunday at 2:00 p.m.

National seeding implications? It's difficult to imagine both Texas' playing up to a #1 seed and falling down to a #3 seed. Were Texas to win the Big 12 tournament, it would certainly get a long look at a #1 seed, but still wouldn't receive one if Tennessee, Memphis, UCLA, and North Carolina all perform well in their own conference tourneys. Likewise, even were Texas to flop against the Tech-OSU winner, Texas is highly unlikely to fall off the two line.

The big question in my mind is what, if anything, would affect the committee's decision to send Texas to the Houston regional. I'm still not totally clear on what the actual procedure is - whether the committee pairs the top #1 seed with the fourth best #2 seed, or whether slotting is determined by some other calculation. Last year #2 seed UCLA was sent to the West Regional where Kansas was the #1 seed. That's obviously the goal here: get sent to Houston.

Big 12 Bubble. Only Texas and Kansas can say with absolute certainty that they're in this year's NCAA Tournament, but with the nation's second best RPI rating, the Big 12 conference is likely to receive at least five, and possibly (for the first time) six bids. The team with the most to prove in this week's tournament? Chip Brown says it's Texas A&M, and I agree. I'll have much more on Big 12's NCAA Tournament situation in a feature that will be running tomorrow at Basketball Prospectus.

Quick Hits. Big12Sports.com has all your conference championship info... Heading into the tournament, Texas is #5 in the RPI... BON's March Madness group has been created... Tim Griffin files his Big 12 football notebook for ESPN.com.

--PB--

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