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Question of the Day: Does the Big 12 Tournament Matter?

The 2011 Big 12 basketball tournament tips off tomorrow, although for the 12th time in 13 years, Texas will not be playing on the first day. As the No. 2 seed, the Longhorns' Big 12 basketball tournament begins on Thursday evening at 6:00 p.m. CT, when they will square off with the winner of Wednesday's tilt between Baylor and Oklahoma.

Today's question is twofold: Do you care about the Big 12 tournament? And should Texas care?

Rick Barnes has won three Big 12 titles at Texas, but while his teams have been part to some epic final games, the Longhorns have never won the Big 12 basketball tournament. Does that matter? Personally, I don't much care. The Big 12 basketball tournament has some impact on your final seed, but beyond that it just doesn't mean all that much. I care about winning the regular season title, but I'm mostly indifferent about the Big 12 basketball tournament. Yes, I'd be happy for Rick Barnes, but really, taking place as it does right before the NCAA Tournament, it almost seems like more trouble than it's worth. Nice if you win it, but no big deal if you don't.

Should Texas care?  Well, to the extent that playing well would help them in the NCAAs, then yes, absolutely they should. Of course, to the extent that playing well would hurt them, perhaps not. After all, this is a young team that's looked tired lately. Is it really such a bad thing if they bow out early? Then again, as discussed yesterday's post about the Big 12 basketball tournament, a nice run through could result in Texas playing in San Antonio.

What are your thoughts? Do you feel strongly about how well Texas plays in the Big 12 basketball tournament? Do you think the team has a lot to gain?