COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Big 12 Basketball Locks In Number Of League Games When BYU Joins

Oct 18, 2022, 3:55 PM
BYU Basketball, Mark Pope, Practice, Marriott Center...
BYU basketball head coach Mark Pope hired former Louisville assistant Kahill Fennell. (Laura Seitz, Deseret News)
(Laura Seitz, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY – Big 12 basketball has emerged as the toughest conference in college hoops. The last two national champions have come from the Big 12, showing how teams within the league have become battle-tested when March Madness rolls around.

The gauntlet only appears to be getting tougher when BYU, UCF, Cincinnati, and national title contender Houston join the league on July 1, 2023.

When those schools join, it will bump up Big 12 membership up from its current 10 members to 14. Which has left many wondering how many conference games would be played with 14 members, as Texas and Oklahoma are still expected to be in the league through its Grant of Rights that expire on June 30, 2025.

Big 12 Commissioner Brett Yormark provided an answer while speaking with reporters in Kansas City for the Big 12 Basketball media days.

“It will be an 18-game schedule; no different than what it is now,” Yormark said to reporters. “And over a two-year period, each school will play all the other members of the conference both home and away.”

Yormark also noted that the first 14-team Big 12 basketball schedule for the 2023-24 season would be released this December.

The 18-game schedule is what the conference is currently using for its 10-member format, which equals a round-robin schedule.

Going forward, it will need to be established how many games the Big 12 plays when they go down to 12 members after Texas and Oklahoma leave for the SEC in 2025. TCU head coach Jamie Dixon is an advocate for bringing back the round-robin league schedule. That would equal 22 conference games in a season.

Defending National Championship coach Bill Self at Kansas would like to see the Big 12 continue with 18 games after the Longhorns and Sooners move on.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12–3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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