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Report: Big 12 to play two conference games in December

Texas will reportedly start the league schedule at Baylor and then host Oklahoma State before the new year.

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NCAA Basketball: Oklahoma State at Texas Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

The Big 12 plans to start conference play earlier than normal, according to a report from Matt Norlander of CBS Sports on Friday, with two games scheduled for December.

With the previously-released non-conference games now removed from the official schedule, the reported road game against Baylor on Dec. 13 and the home game against Oklahoma State on Dec. 20 are the only games on the Texas schedule at the moment.

In July, Texas announced a non-conference schedule that included a home game against Gonzaga on Nov. 13 and a trip to Hawaii for the Maui Invitational, as well as the Big 12/Big East Battle and the SEC/Big 12 Challenge.

As head coach Shaka Smart noted last week, there are a number of different entities involved in scheduling, from the NCAA for the NCAA Tournament to the conferences for league play to the hosts of multi-team events like the Maui Invitational to the individual schools for other non-conference games.

“So you have a lot of different entities working on a schedule that has now been really turned upside down — the conference has decided they want to play two games that are still being worked out in terms of the opponents and the dates,” Smart said. “But that obviously has to take precedence in that month of December and we’ll wait until the conference finalizes those.”

Now that those Big 12 games are all but officially finalized, Texas can work to piece the non-conference schedule back together.

The original plan was to host Boston University on Dec. 12, travel to Houston to play Louisiana Tech on Dec. 18, and then return home to face Colgate on Dec. 21.