While six Big 12 teams are headed to the NCAA Tournament, three others are headed to the National Invitation Tournament and College Basketball Insider Tournament, which also start this week.
TCU and Texas will be in the NIT while West Virginia — with a record that is six games under .500 — has accepted a bid into the CBI.
The NIT starts on Tuesday and TCU (20-13) occupies a No. 1 seed in one bracket while Texas (16-16) occupies a No. 2 seed in another bracket. The Horned Frogs and Longhorns could not meet until the national semifinals at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
TCU — which was considered on the bubble for the NCAA Tournament and was passed over for a bid — hosts Southland Conference regular-season champion Sam Houston State at 9 p.m. EST on Wednesday in Fort Worth. Because the Horned Frogs are a No. 1 seed, if they keep winning they would host NIT games through the quarterfinals.
Should the Horned Frogs win on Wednesday they would host either Nebraska or Butler in the second round, which would be between March 21-25.
TCU won the NIT in 2017 in head coach Jamie Dixon’s first season.
Texas will host South Dakota State on Tuesday at 9 p.m. EST. The Longhorns were passed over for an NCAA berth, but will host at least one home game in the NIT. South Dakota State is an intriguing opponent for the Longhorns because Mike Daum, the Jackrabbits’ star forward, is on the Wooden Award watch list and is one of 10 players in NCAA history to score at least 3,000 career points.
Should Texas win on Tuesday it would host either Xavier or Toledo.
The surprise is West Virginia’s appearance in the CBI field, a tournament normally reserved for mid-major teams and only includes 16 teams.
The Mountaineers are one of three teams from what would be considered major basketball conferences. The other two are DePaul (Big East) and South Florida (American). Those three conferences sent 14 teams to the NCAA Tournament.
The Mountaineers (14-20) had a magical run at the Big 12 Tournament, beating Oklahoma and No. 2 seed and regular-season co-champ Texas Tech before losing to Kansas.
The Mountaineers will take on Grand Canyon on Wednesday at 7 p.m. EST in Morgantown, W.V. If the Mountaineers win they will face either Coastal Carolina or Howard in the round of 8.
Oklahoma State is now the only Big 12 team without a postseason invitation.