In this space recently, I have recognized the Big 12 teams other than the Kansas Jayhawks who are still alive and advancing in either the NCAA Women’s Basketball Champiosnhip or the National Invitation Tournament. Yes, there are conference teams other than Kansas whose seasons have not ended yet.
Of course the main attention rightfully rests with the No. 1 seed Kansas men, who take on four-seed Michigan Friday night in Arlington, Texas, in what after Thursday’s action has become the round of 12. After Friday’s night’s games, the teams still standing from the field of 68 will be narrowed to eight, and after Sunday we will have the Final Four field in place.
But while the Jayhawk men are the main attraction, the Baylor men have strung a series of three wins together in the National Inivitation Tournament, which sends the Big 12′s sixth-place team this season to New York City as one of the four contenders for the 2013 NIT men’s championship. The semifinal games are scheduled for next Tuesday, with Baylor 21-14) taking on BYU 24-11).
In the Big Dance on the women’s side of the bracket, the top-seeded Baylor Lady Bears, led by All-World player Brittney Griner, are a good bet to capture their second consecutive NCAA women’s championship and their third all-time. Kansas and Oklahoma also have advanced to the Sweet 16 round and remain alive in the tournament.
We’ve highlighted the March advances of the two schools other than Kansas whose basketball seasons are still alive. But in the process, we inadvertently overlooked a fourth Big 12 school that is still playing basketball that counts on this date. The Kansas State women are one win shy themelves of becoming one of the four finalists in the Women’s NIT. The Lady Wildcats (18-17) have beaten Illinois State and Ball State and will host Illinois (19-13) on Saturday at Bramlage Coliseum in Manhattan. The winner of that game moves on to the NIT semifinals on Wednesday and Thursday next week.