October 18, 2021

Spif Panel

Think Shopping & Women

What is the impact of the Huge 12 moves on college basketball?

10 min read

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The Big 12 Conference presidents and chancellors voted on Friday to accept BYU, Cincinnati, Houston and UCF into the convention, with the particular person boards of those universities set to formally take just before end of day. Even though the moves have been mostly influenced by football-similar concerns, other sports activities in the Huge 12 will also be impacted. Foremost among the the athletics are men’s and women’s basketball, with the shifting tides of expansion having a downstream impact on the make-up and electricity of the American Athletic Convention and West Coastline Meeting as very well.

What will the addition of a Remaining 4 plan in Houston necessarily mean for the men’s basketball profile of the Large 12, annually one of college basketball’s strongest leagues? Will the additions in men’s and women’s hoops aid mitigate the unpleasant forthcoming reduction of Texas and Oklahoma to the SEC?

ESPN’s college basketball reporting workforce of Jeff Borzello, Myron Medcalf and Mechelle Voepel reviewed the consequences for the Huge 12, the fallout for the other impacted leagues, and the landscape of men’s and women’s college basketball as conference realignment took another remarkable transform:


How does the declared addition of BYU, Cincinnati, Houston and UCF effects the Major 12 in men’s basketball? When coupled with the planned departure of Texas and Oklahoma, where does that go away the Big 12 in terms of countrywide strength?

The Massive 12 reinforced its basketball standing with the 4 additions. Considering that 2014, the league has been rated No. 1 by KenPom 6 situations and No. 2 two times. Shedding Texas and Oklahoma does necessarily mean two leading-25 systems are no longer in the fold, but Houston has been a person of the most consistent systems in the state below Kelvin Sampson and just manufactured a Remaining 4 very last spring.

BYU has won at least 20 online games in 15 of the very last 16 seasons and now has a better opportunity of keeping Mark Pope as its head mentor for quite a few additional yrs. Cincinnati was an NCAA event staple beneath Mick Cronin and is hoping to return to kind just after the employ of Wes Miller. UCF has had its moments, but the school’s athletic aim is on soccer and its status as a “sleeping huge” in basketball has waned.

It truly is hard to say the league has logged a web enhancement on the basketball aspect with out Texas and Oklahoma, but with the additions — particularly given Houston and BYU’s recent results — I do not believe there will be significantly of a drop-off. — Jeff Borzello


How do the four educational facilities increase to the Large 12 profile on the women’s hoops side?

Dropping Texas and Oklahoma will be challenging for Huge 12 women’s hoops, but the educational facilities that are getting additional carry a thing to the league that provides it a tiny increase after so a great deal reduction.

BYU is the most successful women’s software signing up for the Significant 12. The Cougars have created 14 NCAA tournament appearances and state-of-the-art to the Sweet 16 two times (2002 and 2014). This earlier period, as a No. 11 seed, they upset No. 6 seed Rutgers in the first spherical before falling to eventual NCAA runner-up Arizona, a No. 3 seed. Nine of the Cougars’ NCAA tournament appearances have arrive beneath current mentor Jeff Judkins, who has had only a person dropping year given that having in excess of in 2001-02.

BYU’s final West Coast Conference title came in the 2019 league tournament, and its previous WCC normal-period title was in 2016. BYU also has a custom of prosperous women’s sporting activities courses the Cougars’ women’s volleyball team has achieved the ultimate 4 three instances (1993, 2014 and 2018).

UCF tied for 1st in the American Athletic Meeting past period with South Florida, and Houston was third. Both of those UCF and Houston — like BYU — must advantage from staying in a main meeting. The Knights fell to Northwestern in the NCAA event initially spherical this past period, which was their sixth NCAA event appearance. Houston defeat Arizona State in the Women’s Nationwide Invitation Match consolation recreation, but the Cougars’ previous NCAA event was in 2011.

In contrast to its men’s hoops system, Cincinnati has struggled to make an impact on the women’s side, past earning the NCAA match in 2003. Cincinnati mentor Michelle Clark-Heard had achievement formerly at Western Kentucky, and then received 24 and 22 video games in her initially two seasons with Cincinnati. Last year the Bearcats went 8-16, but probably the go to the Big 12 will support her build on what Cincinnati did from 2018 to ’20, which included a WNIT visual appearance. — Mechelle Voepel


What’s the men’s basketball effect on the American Athletic Conference, which is set to drop three applications like a 2021 Remaining Four participant in Houston? What about the WCC, which loses one particular of its best 3 plans in BYU?

I consider the biggest ripple influence here involves Memphis and Gonzaga, whose leagues have grow to be weaker. If there were ever a time for the two colleges, the anchors of their respective conferences, to glance somewhere else, it is now — even if their potential destinations are a lot less than noticeable.

We’ve watched other groups and leagues make preemptive moves so they can handle their futures via realignment. Houston, Cincinnati and UCF have 6 combined NCAA match berths given that 2018. But their locations matter as well. All a few educational facilities exist in main metropolitan places with populations above 2 million people. The diminished footprint, particularly in regard to recruiting, is a main problem for a league that will not simply obtain three comparable applications. The go will also cost the AAC 3 excellent coaches, such as Kelvin Sampson who, upon arrival, will be 1 of the Significant 12’s leaders.

With all of this chaos, I’m not absolutely sure how the AAC will keep Memphis happy. But that has to be the objective since a league that finished seventh in KenPom’s rankings could finish outdoors the major 10 with these moves. That is why a Memphis workforce with Emoni Bates this year and a excellent football system may well be possessing discussions about discovering greener pastures alternatively of preserving an unstable convention. Memphis has not been to the NCAA tournament under Penny Hardaway and now it will reduce a few options for good quality wins in meeting play. Which is not fantastic.

And BYU included a good deal to the WCC. Not just its talent but its crowds and aid in Provo — and its legitimacy. In their most fruitful yrs, Gonzaga, BYU and Saint Mary’s all elevated the profile of the WCC, which has been a multi-bid league in 7 of the last nine tournaments. The likelihood of sending multiple faculties to the postseason, even so, are drastically diminished with out BYU.

I feel BYU’s departure also accelerates the conversation about Gonzaga’s long term. How lengthy can a leading basketball plan stay in the WCC? Gonzaga will sustain its status as a impressive squad either way. Even now, very little looks sure about their long term. A university with Gonzaga’s basketball profile could locate a home in a greater meeting. And with no BYU, it may possibly imagine it has to do that. — Myron Medcalf


The American was currently reeling from the decline of UConn in women’s hoops, how much does this transfer more weaken the league?

Let’s just say that UConn enthusiasts, by now grateful the Huskies have remaining for the Massive East, are breathing a sigh of relief once more now. It can be not as if the current incarnation of the Massive East is a major problem for the Huskies they went unbeaten in league engage in this previous time. But at minimum the Large East makes perception geographically for UConn. And whilst it likely will hardly ever access the heights the outdated Significant East did on the women’s aspect, it truly is considerably far better than what continues to be of the American.

South Florida has been a superior method beneath mentor Jose Fernandez. The Bulls and UCF each finished at 12-2 atop the American final period, with USF winning the league event championship video game over the Knights. USF designed its seventh NCAA match visual appearance (all coached by Fernandez) and won its to start with-round sport over Washington Condition right before dropping to No. 1 seed NC Point out.

A single can rightly speculate that South Florida will continue to be as the American’s top women’s hoops team, but it truly is not a league that is going to deliver the Bulls with a great deal nationwide consideration at this phase. — Mechelle Voepel


What new rivalries should really followers be psyched about? Are there any big rivalries that will be dropped with the planned moves?

Houston is the system that quickly jumps out as one particular that could make some new rivalries instantly. The Cougars are previously battling the likes of Baylor, Texas Tech, TCU and Oklahoma Point out on the recruiting path, and there is of course a regional factor that lends by itself to rivalries. BYU and UCF could struggle from a rivalry standpoint, just owing to area, but Cincinnati’s proximity to former mentor Bob Huggins and West Virginia ought to make their early matchups exciting.

As formerly described when Texas and OU announced their moves, we lost Bedlam. Oklahoma and Oklahoma Condition was just one of the much better in-condition rivalries in equally football and basketball, but that’s not off the table on a constant foundation. Texas will get its rivalry with Oklahoma to the SEC, exactly where it will also reignite its rivalries with Texas A&M and Arkansas. The Texas vs. Texas Tech games this season must be fascinating, presented Chris Beard’s go from Lubbock to Austin. — Jeff Borzello

It would be great to see Houston elevate to challenge the Big 12’s other Texas packages, in particular close by Baylor. But that will choose some performing. At one particular level, the Massive 12’s courses in the Lone Star Condition have been all countrywide contenders — Texas, Baylor, Texas Tech and Texas A&M. Baylor has shed mentor Kim Mulkey, the program’s architect who received 3 NCAA titles, and with Texas A&M long gone to the SEC, Texas on the way to the SEC and Texas Tech possessing definitely struggled to be competitive in modern yrs, the Texas aspect of the Big 12 is just not as fascinating. — Mechelle Voepel

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