Big 12 Basketball

Bill Self on Big 12 Tourney: ‘I Don’t Think It Carries the Same Significance of Winning’ as Maybe Other Years

NCAA Basketball: Kansas at Michigan State

Conference tournaments are a time where teams can strengthen their resumés, damage their resumés or, in the less common case, steal someone else’s bid. All three happen every single season.

But this time around, at least with respect to the league that’s been the best in the country all season, there might be less of that to think about. At least, that’s the take from one prominent head coach.

“That’ll translate on to the Big 12 Tournament where somebody can really help themselves, or maybe hurt themselves,” started Kansas’ Bill Self on the Big 12 Tournament’s purpose this year, via Kansas247’s Michael Swain. “My deal is, I think that everybody that plays in anything, they should put emphasis on playing well and winning. But I don’t think it carries the same significance of winning it as it maybe has in some other years.”


There certainly is plenty of basis for his comments. After West Virginia’s victory over No. 11 West Virginia–and Self made these statements before knowing that outcome–there presumably are seven safe teams for the NCAA Tournament.

All of his Jayhawks, Baylor, Kansas State and Texas are in ESPN Bracketology expert Joe Lunardi’s current projected Top 16 seeds. Iowa State and TCU are also considered locks, and West Virginia, as mentioned, is now also probably in that fold.

Still, Oklahoma State scored a huge 71-68 win at Texas Tech, keeping its at-large hopes alive at the moment while squashing Tech’s in the process. So, a win or two could really matter for the Cowboys.

Plus, they could win the Big 12 Tournament and become one of those aforementioned bid stealers. So, too, could Texas Tech or even Oklahoma if things get really crazy.

But it’s not hard to see Self’s point. Rarely have this many teams been a sure thing for the Big Dance.

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