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Missouri loss shortchanges Big 12

By BLAIR KERKHOFF
The Kansas City Star

If you believe the Big 12 was happy to see Missouri bow out of the NCAA Tournament after one game, think again.

The Tigers’ stunning loss to No. 15 seed Norfolk State on Friday in one of the biggest upsets in tournament history means No. 2 seed Missouri can’t advance through the bracket and earn additional money for its success.

That money, worth about $250,000 per game until the championship, goes to the conference and is part of the league’s revenue distribution system at the end of the fiscal year.

NCAA payouts to conferences are based on six years’ worth of performances by its teams. The six-year scale is applied to avoid a financial hit if a conference has a down year.

Missouri’s performance in the 2012 tournament, its last as a Big 12 member before joining the Southeastern Conference, will count on the Big 12’s chart for the next five years. MU will begin a new chart in the SEC next year.

“It’s a fair system, because that’s income based on performance in the Big 12,” Missouri athletic director Mike Alden said.

Had the Tigers played to their seed and reached the West Regional final, they’d have collected four $250,000 units for the Big 12, or about $1 million that would become part of the league’s payout equation through 2017. Instead, the Tigers will have contributed one unit to the total.

Four units are what Missouri contributed to the Big 12 for its 2009 run to the regional final.

Likewise, recent NCAA Tournament performances of Big 12-bound West Virginia, including the five units it generated for the Big East by reaching the 2010 Final Four, stays in the Big East until that year’s worth of units drops off.

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