Slam dunk for the Big 12

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Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby must be smiling.

His league stands above all others for percentage of its schools in the 2014 NCAA Women’s and Men’s Basketball Championships and the competition wasn’t close.

Seven Big 12 men’s programs – Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas – made the 2014 field. That total was the nation’s most. The Big 12 was the only league with more than half of its membership qualifying for the men’s tournament. The Pac-12 and Big Ten had exactly 50% of their teams make the field.

Six Big 12 women’s programs – Baylor, Iowa State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas and West Virginia – received invites to the NCAA tournament. The six bids were third-most nationally (the SEC and ACC had eight), but the Big 12 had the highest percentage (60%) of its women’s teams earn trips.

Combining men’s and women’s basketball programs, here is how the conferences (for those that received more than their one guaranteed bid) ranked in terms of 2014 NCAA Tournament bids:

 Big 12:  65%

ACC:  47%

Pac-12:  46%

Big Ten:  46%

SEC:  39%

Atlantic 10:  35%

American:  30%

Big East:  30%

West Coast:  20%

Mountain West:  14%

It’s also worth noting that the Big 12 Conference set a college football record in 2012 when 90% of its schools earned bowl invites.

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