In view of the monstrous storm damage and loss of life that hit the Oklahoma City southern suburb of Moore on Monday, Big 12 athletic directors have elected to delay the Big 12 Baseball Championship by one day and alter the format of the tournament.
Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby said the athletic directors considered cancelling the championship, but were encouraged by Oklahoma City public officials to go ahead and hold the tournament in some form. “We debated cancelling the tournament in deference to the devastating tragedy in Moore, but were encouraged by Oklahoma City leaders and the Oklahoma City All-Sports Association to go forward,” Bowlsby said. “We believe the tournament can serve as a testament to the strong Oklahoma spirit and to the resiliency of the Oklahoma people.”Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett was among the city officials who encouraged the Big 12 to proceed with the baseball championship.
The tournament will now start a day later, on Thursday, and will still run through Sunday. The conference will utilize a pool format, with regular-season champion Kansas State, Oklahoma, Baylor and Texas Tech in Pool One and Oklahoma State, West Virginia, Kansas and TCU in Pool Two. Each team will be guaranteed three games against the teams in its respective pool, and the teams from each pool with the best records at the end of play on Saturday will meet for the conference championship and the NCAA automatic bid on Sunday.
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