Bowlsby: Taking Big 12 Tournament from KC would take ‘Herculean effort’

03/14/2014 7:37 PM

03/14/2014 7:37 PM

Big 12 commissioner Bob Bowlsby reiterated his position from earlier this week, when he told The Star that the men’s basketball tournament would go up for bid after the 2016 event is played at the Sprint Center.

“We will likely have a request for proposal process at some point,” Bowlsby said Friday. “But I want to be as direct as I can be and that’s simply to say that Kansas City does an extraordinary job of hosting this.

“We have great attendance. The ambiance outside is terrific.

“It’s going to take a Herculean effort for somebody to take this away from Kansas City.”

Bowlsby said no city should take its championship site status for granted.

“I tend toward a constant improvement mentality,” he said, “and so, we’re always going to look at the various elements, whether we combine back with the women, or have separate sites with the same weekend, or the same site on consecutive weekends, we’ll consider all those things.”

The men’s and women’s Big 12 basketball tournaments ran together on the same week through 2012.

The Big 12 men’s tournament has spent 13 of its 18 years in Kansas City. It also has been staged in Oklahoma City in Dallas.

• Bowlsby said that the Big 12 supports the concept of permitting a conference to have a football championship game with fewer than 12 members, but it’s unlikely the Big 12 would move in that direction.

CBSSports.com reported that the Atlantic Coast Conference has submitted NCAA legislation that would deregulate conference football championship games. If a conference wanted to match its two highest-ranked teams in a game instead of having division winners meet, it would have that right.

Or, in the Big 12’s case, if it wanted to play a title game it could, despite the NCAA rule that requires a conference to have 12 members for such a game.

“You wouldn’t have to have 12, and that would afford us the opportunity to have a postseason playoff between two selected teams by whatever process we wanted to select,” Bowlsby said.

“I doubt we would do that, but we would have the prerogative.”

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