Let the record prove that OSU sealed the Big 12 triumph Saturday night in the latest Big 12/SEC Challenge. The Cowboys finished an 82-60 loss of Ole Miss minutes before Kansas eliminated Kentucky.
The Big 12 won the final contest 7–3, buoyed earlier in the day by West Virginia’s 80–77 win over 15th-ranked Auburn and OU’s loss to Alabama.
When 17th ranked Baylor held off Arkansas 67-64, the Big 12 took control of the day. The Big 12 had won the first three Big 12/SEC Challenges, 2014-16, but had won only once since then (2019), with two ties.
The challenge is big on bragging rights and a little less so on NCAA tournament resumes.
It’s ending because ESPN wants it to end — ESPN in many ways runs college sports, as the Big 12 are well aware. The Southeast and Atlantic Coast conferences announced in November that they would implement a new set of challenges next season, to be played the week after Thanksgiving. The ACC/Big Ten Challenge will also end.
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Playing in November or December is best for conference scheduling. Giving up a Saturday in January for non-conference play means that the Big 12 have been tipping out conference play over New Year’s weekend for the past few years. It’s not ideal, with students gone off campus and college football still attracting the attention of fans.
But playing on just one Saturday made for a nice day of drama that is lacking when spread over multiple days in football season.
It is not yet known whether the Big 12 will find a new partner for a series of challenges. The Big Ten is available, although the Big Ten will host 16 schools in 2024-25, while the Big 12 will have 12.
The Pac-12 could eventually have 12 members, if it replaces Southern Cal and UCLA, who move to the Big Ten in the summer of 2024.
And the Big 12 still has its own streak with the Big East, which has 11 members. The Big 12/Big East Battle kicked off in December 2019 and concluded its fourth year last month.
The Big 12/SEC challenge ends after 10 years. The Big 12’s annual record was 5-3-2. He won 55 of 99 games.
Baylor had a Big 12 best record in the challenge, 8-2. OSU, OU and Texas Tech each went 7-3. Kansas was 6-4, TCU 5-5, Texas 4-5, Kansas State and Iowa State each 4-6, and West Virgnia 3-7.
The Big 12’s recent struggles in the series haven’t stopped the conference from thriving. Tech, Baylor and Kansas have played in their last three NCAA championship games, winning their last two.
Here are the weekly rankings of the Big 12:
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1. Kansas State (6-2, 18-3)
The return game against Kansas, this time at Allen Fieldhouse, comes Tuesday night. It should be fun.
2.Texas (6-2, 17-4)
The Longhorns could be the Big 12 favorite at this point, based on status. K-State would be a favorite based on the schedule.
3. Iowa State (6-2, 15-5)
The Cyclones were the Big 12’s biggest SEC no-show, being hit by Missouri.
4.Kansas (5-3, 16-4)
The Jayhawks’ three-game losing streak ended when KU won at Kentucky’s Rupp Arena. All seems right with the world.
5. Baylor (5-3, 16-5)
The Bears opened 0-3 in conference but have now won six straight, going into a showdown Monday night in Texas.
Moreover:Oklahoma’s Taylor Robertson breaks NCAA 3-point record, but Sooners fall to Iowa State
6. CT (5-3, 16-5)
Mike Miles’ knee injury sustained in a loss to Mississippi State on Saturday has serious consequences. His status is unknown, but Miles is a point guard, team leader and leading scorer for the Horned Frogs.
7. Oklahoma State (3-5, 12-9)
The cowboys are playing better and center Mousse Cisse is making a comeback. OSU missed him when he was sidelined with a sprained ankle.
8. West Virginia (2-6, 13-8)
Analytical rankings love the Mountaineers, but they really need to climb above eighth place.
9. Oklahoma (2-6, 12-9)
How good is Big 12 basketball? OU is 12-9, just beat the second nation team 93-69, and the Sooners are still tied for ninth in the conference.
10. Texas Tech (0-8, 11-10)
The Red Raiders earned one of two Big 12/SEC Challenge road victories, against Louisiana State.
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