As you might expect, Kansas State basketball coach Frank Martin was happy to hear his team is staying in the Big 12 Conference.
What you might not expect is how excited he is to begin competing in a new 10-team format.
“The Big 12 is a great league that just got better,” Martin said. “… Having a lot of teams doesn’t necessarily make a power league, because you’ve got a huge discrepancy between the top-tier teams and the lower-tier teams. Our league right now is pretty evenly matched 1-10.”
With every team potentially playing the other nine twice in a double round robin, he sees the new Big 12 being a much more competitive conference.
“Now the South can’t complain that in basketball they play each other twice and us once,” Martin said. “We’ve got to play each other twice now. It’s as evenly laid out as it can possibly be.”
Without two of the North Division’s worst teams (Colorado and Nebraska) around for more powerful rivals to feast on four times a year, that point is hard to argue.
By the way, Martin’s thoughts on Nebraska and Colorado: “I don’t care about them.”
What he does care about is the future of a league that will likely claim Texas Tech, Iowa State and Oklahoma as its worst teams. And all three have put together quality teams in the recent past.
The other seven (K-State, Kansas, Texas, Texas A&M, Baylor, Oklahoma State and Missouri) look very strong. Things could change by the time Colorado and Nebraska leave after next season, but all of them made the NCAA Tournament last year.
“I’m proud as heck of the teams we’ve got in our league,” Martin said. “It’s a big-time league with big-time coaches. I couldn’t be happier to be a part of it.”