Big XII – 1, Pac-10 – 0. That is the current score in the inaugural Big XII / Pac 10 Hardwood Series after the #4 Kansas Jayhawks got the better of the Arizona Wildcats, 76-72, in overtime on Sunday night.
If you haven’t heard about this series, you are not alone. In January, the Pac-10 and the Big XII agreed to a four-year contract with 12 games between the two conferences annually. Because the Pac-10 only has ten teams, two teams from that league will play twice. This year Arizona and Stanford have two contests each with Big XII opponents.
Coach Barnes was apparently the reason why we have a dozen games to enjoy instead of just ten:
"It’s important to make sure every school is involved," Keating added. "When Rick Barnes (Texas coach) was at Providence, one of the schools got left out every year (in the Big East/ACC Challenge). He said he would not agree to this unless every school was able to play in it. I give Rick credit for that. He knows there’s nothing worse than for somebody to be left out."
Coming into this college basketball season, the Pac-10 was widely regarding as the nation’s top conference. Using the current AP Top 25 rankings, the Pac-10 has three teams in the top 25: #2 UCLA, #9 Washington State, and #12 Oregon. Arizona, Stanford, Washington, and USC all fall into the others receiving votes category. The Big XII has four teams currently ranked in the top 25: #4 Kansas, #15 Texas, #16 Texas A&M, and #18 Kansas State. Missouri and Baylor fell into the others receiving votes category.
Beating the Pac-10 in this made-for-tv matchup would be great for the Big XII’s basketball reputation and could help one or two teams grab an NCAA tourney bid come March.
Thur. 11/29: Oregon at Kansas State 8 PM ESPN2
Thur. 11/29: Oklahoma at USC 10 PM Fox Sports
Fri. 11/30: Washington State at Baylor 8 PM ESPNU
Fri. 11/30: Iowa State at Oregon State 10 PM Fox Sports
Sat. 12/1: Washington at Oklahoma State 4:30 PM ESPN
Sat. 12/1: Missouri at California 10 PM Fox Sports
Sun. 12/2: Arizona State at Nebraska 1 PM ESPNU
Sun. 12/2: Stanford at Colorado 3 PM ESPNU
Sun. 12/2: Texas A&M at Arizona 5 PM Fox Sports
Sun. 12/2: Texas at UCLA 7 PM Fox Sports
Sat. 12/22: Texas Tech vs. Stanford (Dallas) 3:30 ESPN2