Brett Yormark ‘Bullish’ On Big 12 Basketball’s Future With Four Corners Joining

Mar 12, 2024, 10:40 PM | Updated: Mar 13, 2024, 12:21 am

Big 12 Commissioner, Brett Yormark, Four Corner...

Big 12 Commissioner Brett Yormark is bullish on the future of the 16-team Big 12 when the "Four Corner" schools join. (Photo courtesy of the Big 12 Conference)

(Photo courtesy of the Big 12 Conference)

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Big 12 Commissioner Brett Yormark was all smiles as he entered the T-Mobile Center Press Conference room on Tuesday night.

The second-year Commissioner greeted the assembled media with the WWE Big 12 Tournament belt given to the Most Outstanding Player in both the men’s and women’s Big 12 tourneys.

Yormark has brought a flair the Big 12 probably never envisioned.

Creative initiatives can go off when you pull off a realignment move that no one thought was possible. Landing the “Four Corner” schools from the Pac-12 (Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado, and Utah) was a dream for Yormark and the Big 12, and he delivered.

It’s another reason for the big smiles from the Big 12 boss.

Yormark addressed the media in a Q&A session for 15 minutes on Tuesday before the Big 12 Women’s Tournament Championship Game that saw Texas defeat Iowa State.

One of the common themes from Yormark is that Big 12 Basketball will improve when the four corner schools officially join on August 2, 2024.

Yormark sees Big 12 Basketball growing with the Four Corners programs

Big 12 basketball on the men’s side is rated as the number one conference in every metric this season. Yormark sees that continuing and women’s basketball being elevated.

“Just like the men’s, Big 12 Women’s basketball will even get better next year with the addition of the four corner schools,” said Yormark.

The previous four additions to the Big 12 (BYU, UCF, Cincinnati, and Houston) have all added to the depth of the best basketball league in the country.

Houston won the conference regular season title outright. BYU finished ahead of Kansas as the fifth seed. Then, on Tuesday, UCF and Cincinnati both won tournament games.

“On the men’s front, what can I say? It’s just another year in the best conference in basketball. We have led the nation in conference NET ranking every week this season. We are the top conference in the KenPom, AP, or whatever acronym you want to use. We’ve been number one.”

The crown jewel from a basketball perspective out of the Four Corners additions is the Arizona Wildcats.

Arizona is a historic western powerhouse in college basketball and under head coach Tommy Lloyd, the Wildcats are among the elites again the sport.

The Wildcats are currently ranked No. 6 in the penultimate AP Top 25 poll of the season.

Arizona State continues to be hit-and-miss every season. Colorado is surging heading into postseason play, and Utah is barely outside NCAA Tournament projections.

More realignment in the future?

But there’s always the question: Could more schools be added to push Big 12 membership beyond 16 schools?

Everywhere you look at the T-Mobile Center in Kansas City, there is Big 12 branding that states, “We’ve always been greater than 12.”

Is there room to grow?

“The four corner schools were the best-case scenario for us, and they’ll be joining us next summer,” Yormark said. So we’ve done a lot of work to integrate those four and transition them in the right way. Who knows what the future will hold? But I really love the makeup of our conference right now.”

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for and hosts the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (12–3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow Mitch’s coverage of BYU in the Big 12 Conference on X: @Mitch_Harper.

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Brett Yormark ‘Bullish’ On Big 12 Basketball’s Future With Four Corners Joining