The countdown to the Final Four at AT&T Stadium begins in earnest Sunday, when the NCAA Tournament bracket is released.
The April 5-7 event will mark the first time the Final Four has been held in Dallas-Fort Worth in 28 years.
Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby, one of the driving forces behind this year’s event, predicted that the area will not have to wait almost three decades for its next Final Four.
AT&T Stadium is one of eight finalists in the mix to land the event again between 2017 and 2020.
“I fully expect that we will get another Final Four before very long,” Bowlsby said at the Big 12 conference tournament. “We like hosting. We like being at the center of the college athletics world. We’re going to get a lot of chances.”
Bowlsby predicted the inability to walk from ancillary events in Dallas to the arena in Arlington during the Final Four weekend will not be held against the area in future bids.
Self doubts top seed
With Arizona, Florida and Wichita State likely to earn No. 1 seeds in the upcoming NCAA Tournament, Kansas had a chance to snag the fourth top seed by winning the Big 12 tournament.
But the Jayhawks fell to Iowa State 94-83 in the semifinals Friday.
Despite boasting the nation’s best strength of schedule and 12 wins against RPI Top 50 teams, the most in the country, Kansas may have played its way out of a No. 1 seed.
Coach Bill Self believes it did.
“We’re not going to be a 1,” Self said after Friday’s loss. “Who knows if we’ll be a 2? I mean, who knows how the other games will play out? And we’re not going to be disappointed with whatever happens.”
Texas to open in China
Texas will begin its 2015 men’s basketball season with a game in China against Washington, the first regular-season game between United States college or professional basketball teams in the country.
Men’s athletic director Steve Patterson has already made public his desires to have the Longhorns play a football game on international soil, possibly in Mexico City.
The Texas-Washington game will be played on Nov. 14, 2015, (Nov. 13 in the United States) and be televised by ESPN.
The game is part of the Pac-12’s Globalization Initiative, which was launched in 2011.
Patterson was Arizona State’s athletic director when the Sun Devils men’s basketball team and the California women’s basketball team played exhibition games in China last summer.
Texas’ Ibeh OK
Texas sophomore forward Prince Ibeh hurt his right ankle during Wednesday’s quarterfinal win over West Virginia and re-aggravated the injury in Thursday’s loss to Baylor.
But Ibeh expects to be ready for the Longhorns’ first NCAA Tournament game Thursday or Friday.
“I rolled my ankle a little bit, but it’ll be all right,” said Ibeh, who had six points and six rebounds in the loss. “It started yesterday when I rolled it. Today I tweaked it again. I just felt a little pain when I stepped awkwardly on someone’s foot.”