It may be just the beginning of fall football season, but the Big 12 Conference, with its new 10-team round-robin league schedule is already thinking basketball. Conference officials, in cooperation with sports cable network ESPN, have announced the men's games that will be part of the Big Monday TV schedule for the 2011-12 season.
For the second consecutive year, the Big 12 will begin its Big Monday coverage with a doubleheader on Martin Luther King Day on Jan. 16. The first game that date will feature two teams with coaches in their first conference season: Texas A&M at Missouri. Billy Kennedy, formerly at Murray State, is the new man on the bench at Texas A&M, while Frank Haith is in his first season at Missouri after coaching for seven years at the University of Miami. The second game in the Jan. 16 Big Monday tip-off doubleheader will be Baylor at seven-time-defending conference champion Kansas.
The Jayhawks will appear on the Big Monday ESPN telecast for the second week in a row on Jan. 23, when Texas A&M visits Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence.
A Lone Star Showdown between Texas and Texas A&M at College Station will be the featured Big 12 game on Feb. 6. The following week, the Sunflower Showdown will take center stage, with Kansas at Kansas State, where The Wildcats upset the Jayhawks last season.
The final Big Monday game of the season will be Feb. 27 at Gallagher-Iba Arena in Stillwater, where Kansas will try to revenge the loss in its last trip to Oklahoma State in 2009.
Kansas is scheduled to appear four times in the seven weeks that constitute the 2012 Big Monday TV schedule. Texas and Texas A&M will make three appearances each. Texas Tech, Iowa State and Oklahoma are the only conference teams not scheduled for a Big Monday broadcast.
In the 2010-11 season, the Big 12 led the country in nonconference winning percentage, and at least seven conference teams won 20 or more games for the fourth consecutive season.
2012 Big 12 Men's Basketball Schedule on ESPN's Big Monday
Jan. 16 Texas A&M @ Missouri
Baylor @ Kansas
Jan. 23 Texas A&M @ Kansas
Jan. 30 Missouri @ Texas
Feb. 6 Texas @ Texas A&M
Feb. 13 Kansas @ Kansas State
Feb. 20 Baylor @ Texas
Feb. 27 Kansas @ Oklahoma State