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Old 03-07-2007, 11:59 AM  
Lzen Lzen is offline
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Self, Gillispie upset at perception of Big 12

By Tim Bisel
The Capital-Journal
Published Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Texas A&M coach Billy Gillispie took a shot Monday at the Big 12 on behalf of Kansas State.

"I'm really disappointed in the way that people are perceiving our league, and I think our league doesn't do as good a job as our competitors do marketing our league," Gillispie said during the Big 12 coaches teleconference.

"We're talking about a team in our league (K-State) that needs to win a game in the conference tournament and they've already got 10 wins? Are you kidding?"

Gillispie's incredulity stems from speculation that teams such as K-State and Texas Tech could be left out of the NCAA Tournament despite having 20-win seasons and winning league records.

Gillispie didn't offer a specific solution to the marketing issue, other than to say league officials should speak with other conferences about strategies.

"Why are we settling for a certain number of teams in the tournament when everyone else is getting more?" he said. "Nobody's playing better basketball than us, one through 12. I don't know what the answer is, but I know there's got to be a better solution than what it appears we have."

Big 12 commissioner Kevin Weiberg says he understands such frustrations, even shares them, but he also insists the league is doing everything it can to promote teams for postseason play.

Weiberg said the conference markets teams by increasing television exposures Big 12 teams played 35 games on ESPN or ESPN2 and eight games on CBS or ABC this season and through the efforts of John Underwood, the associate commissioner for basketball, and the media relations staff.

He also cited the conference's recently negotiated series with the Pac-10 as a successful marketing venture and noted that the league provides NCAA committee members with a "blizzard of information."

"I really think in the Big 12 we do a lot to promote basketball," Weiberg said. "I think the effort we put into it is a good one."

But is it good enough?

This season, the Big 12 was both memorable and marketable for a number reasons.

Texas' Kevin Durant turned in one of the finest season-long performances in the history of college basketball, and Texas A&M's Acie Law wasn't far behind. Tech's Bob Knight became the winningest coach in Division I. Kansas positioned itself for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. K-State made a splash with the hiring of coach Bob Huggins, who immediately restored credibility in a program that hasn't reached the NCAA since 1996.

"You've got so many things that you can sell as a league," KU coach Bill Self said. "But now, all of a sudden, it's, 'Well, is our league that good?'"

With NCAA invitations five days from being awarded, only three Big 12 teams KU, A&M and Texas are considered locks to reach the field of 65. A fourth bid likely will be extended to Tech or K-State, but perhaps not both.

That thought leaves league coaches dumbfounded.

"From a coach's perspective, why would K-State still be considered on the bubble by the so-called experts?" Self asked. "And I'm not the biggest K-State fan in the state.

"People saying that K-State's on the bubble, that's a ridiculous statement. If that is because of marketability, I don't know what we can do. But it certainly seems you have the so-called experts saying a lot better things about other leagues than ours, despite teams with very similar resumes."

Coaches cite a number of reasons why at least five Big 12 teams deserve NCAA bids.

The conference features two teams (KU and A&M) that are ranked among the top 10 and likely to receive No. 1 or No. 2 seeds at the NCAA tourney.

For the first time in Big 12 history, six teams posted 20-win seasons. KU led the way with a 27-4 record and was followed by A&M at 25-5, Texas at 22-8, K-State at 21-10, Tech at 20-11 and Oklahoma State at 20-10.

Finally, there's the rub that other conferences, most notably the ACC and Big East, could receive as many as seven or eight NCAA spots.

"Let those people come in this league and go play (on the road) if they think it's so easy," K-State's Huggins said. "This is a hard league. I'd line our league up against them."

Weiberg agreed, saying the conference "is clearly one of the top five or six in the country."

Unfortunately, it isn't recognized that way. According to statistician Ken Pomeroy and others, the Big 12 ranks as the country's seventh-best league in terms of RPI, behind the ACC, SEC, Pac-10, Big Ten, Big East and Missouri Valley.

Much of that results from the conference's poor showing in the nonconference. With six new coaches taking over programs, several teams struggled early before adjusting to new systems.

K-State, for instance, lost by 24 points at New Mexico and by 30 at California before avenging the New Mexico defeat in December and reeling off a seven-game winning streak later in the season.

"Our kids were learning, and that's the case in almost half of this league," Huggins said. "It's like bringing in 13 new guys. I think that had a great effect on this league RPI."

Weiberg, a former NCAA committee member, said such factors will be considered and teams will be evaluated for their entire body of work.

"I know coaches get frustrated about teams with winning conference records being so-called bubble teams," Weiberg said. "But I do think the process is going to take care of some of that, and we are all doing our best for the conference."

Tim Bisel can be reached at (785) 295-1289 or tim.bisel@cjonline.com.

http://cjonline.com/stories/030607/haw_154152231.shtml
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Old 03-07-2007, 12:01 PM   #2
Mecca Mecca is offline
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See I dislike this.......you thump your chest in a bad year it makes you look stupid. I understand they wanna lobby for the conference but when Kstate is a 4 in the tournament that speaks to what the level your conference is this year.....it's not good.
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Old 03-07-2007, 12:03 PM   #3
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I think it was explained pretty well about all the new coaches installing new systems early in the year. And how that affected how well their teams did against non-conference opponents.
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Old 03-07-2007, 12:04 PM   #4
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Mecca, your comment about KSU being a 4 seed in the B12 conference shows your lack of knowledge.
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Old 03-07-2007, 12:05 PM   #5
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Lower RPI than the MVC?

Whew. That is rough.

I would probably put the Big 12 third most years, but this year it's really hard to argue that this isn't the toughest league with three kick-ass teams, a team on the rise, and a Bob Knight team.

The Big 12 North still sucks, though.
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Old 03-07-2007, 12:06 PM   #6
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Old 03-07-2007, 12:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lzen
Mecca, your comment about KSU being a 4 seed in the B12 conference shows your lack of knowledge.
It does? They're a very marginal tourny team......they'd be a 6-7 in most other conferences, that speaks to your conference being down. Hell how many coaching changes did this conference make what was it 5 or 6?

You don't get a pass because you have new coaches........it's called a down year.
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Old 03-07-2007, 12:07 PM   #8
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Well, it's the conference RPI, right there in black and white. What else do you want?
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Old 03-07-2007, 12:09 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mecca
It does? They're a very marginal tourny team......they'd be a 6-7 in most other conferences, that speaks to your conference being down. Hell how many coaching changes did this conference make what was it 5 or 6?

You don't get a pass because you have new coaches........it's called a down year.
Tell me how you know that they would be a 6-7 in most other conferences. Is it because you know all? Huggins has proven to be a very good coach.
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Old 03-07-2007, 12:11 PM   #10
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Please don't try to tell me Kstate is a great team.....
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Old 03-07-2007, 12:12 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cochise
Well, it's the conference RPI, right there in black and white. What else do you want?
Oh I agree. I know their reasoning and it makes sense. But these coaches do make a good argument. I think teams like KSU and TT deserve to be in the NCAA tournament over some little piss ant conference tourney winner. JMO.
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Old 03-07-2007, 12:12 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mecca
Please don't try to tell me Kstate is a great team.....
Did I say that?
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Old 03-07-2007, 12:13 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lzen
Oh I agree. I know their reasoning and it makes sense. But these coaches do make a good argument. I think teams like KSU and TT deserve to be in the NCAA tournament over some little piss ant conference tourney winner. JMO.
Well those winning your conference tourny rules are already in there, you can't change them or bitch about them they're there and they've been there for years.

The RPI sucks and that's why they won't get alot of teams.
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Old 03-07-2007, 12:16 PM   #14
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Old 03-07-2007, 12:23 PM   #15
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I'm surprised nobody has pointed out to young Mecca the fact that K-State beat USC quite handily.

Stirring the pot...
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