The Big 12 has placed a nation-high 70 percent of its teams in the 2021 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship. The Conference has seven selections for the sixth time in the last 11 tournaments, including five seasons in the past seven years the event was conducted.
No. 3 seed Texas earned the Big 12’s automatic berth after winning the Phillips 66 Big 12 Men’s Basketball Championship. The Longhorns will be joined by No. 1 seed Baylor, the Big 12 regular season champion, No. 3 seed Kansas, No. 8 seed Oklahoma, No. 4 seed Oklahoma State, No. 6 seed Texas Tech and No. 3 seed West Virginia. Baylor’s No. 1 seed is the first in program history. The Big 12’s average seed of 4.0 is the best in conference history.
All 10 Big 12 coaches have now guided a team to the NCAA Championship. Six have led teams to the Final Four, tied for the best in the nation among conferences. Half of Big 12 institutions have made an appearance in the Final Four with Texas Tech playing in the most recent title game in 2019. The 2020 Championship was canceled due to COVID-19.
The Big 12 has had six or more NCAA Championship teams in 17 of 24 years, including eight seasons since 2012. From 2014-21, the Big 12 has 47 selections – the second-best total of any conference.
Big 12 NCAA Championship First Round Pairings
Friday, March 19
No. 1 Baylor vs. No. 16 Hartford (South Region)
No. 3 West Virginia vs. No. 14 Morehead State (Midwest Region)
No. 4 Oklahoma State vs. No. 13 Liberty (Midwest Region)
No. 6 Texas Tech vs. No. 11 Utah State (South Region)
Saturday, March 20
No. 3 Kansas vs. No. 14 Eastern Washington (West Region)
No. 3 Texas vs. No. 14 Abilene Christian (East Region)
No. 8 Oklahoma vs. No. 9 Missouri (West Region)
Press Release Courtesy of West Virginia University Athletics Communications