The Texas Longhorns will represent the Big 12 in the NCAA Championship National Semifinals as UT makes its eighth semifinal appearance and fourth as a member of the league. The Longhorns swept No. 14 national seed Florida in the regional semifinals and No. 6 national seed Southern California in the regional finals to earn the league's 11th trip to the national semifinals. UT will face Michigan on Thursday, Dec. 13, at 6 p.m. CT. The match will be available on ESPN2 and streamed live online at ESPN3.
The second national semifinal features No. 1 national seed Penn State and No. 5 Oregon. Michigan and Oregon are making first-time appearances in the final four, while this is Penn State's 10th (five-time national champions). Texas leads all postseason teams in hitting percentage (.405). Texas has lost just one set in four NCAA postseason matches this season.
UT also made national semifinal appearances from 2008-10, in 1995 and from 1986-88. The Longhorns have played in three championship matches, winning the 1988 title and have most recently appeared in the final in 2009. The Longhorns' 69 NCAA tournament wins is tied for fifth place for most victories (USC).
This is the first time since 2010 a Big 12 team will be making an appearance in the national semifinals. Overall, the league has advanced four teams to the championship match (2000, ‘05, ‘06, ‘09), with Nebraska claiming the title as members of the Conference in 2000 and ‘06.
The Big 12 is 76-23 in NCAA first round action, 45-34 in second round play, 25-20 in regional semifinals, 11-14 in regional finals and 163-99 overall. Additionally, the league is 4-6 in national semifinal matches and 2-2 in championship matches.
The Big 12 went 6-3 in the first weekend of NCAA play with Iowa State and Texas advancing to Regional Semifinal matches. It is the second straight year both teams have moved on past the second round. The Conference has sent multiple teams to regional play every year except in 2002. Overall, the league is 8-4 this postseason.
Texas has been ranked in the AVCA top 10 all season and claimed its sixth Big 12 title this year, finishing the conference season with a 15-1 record.
This marked the fourth straight season five or more Big 12 teams have earned bids to the NCAA postseason event. The league has sent at least five teams to the tournament in all but one season.
Iowa State and Texas finished 2012 undefeated at home in league play. The feat has been achieved on 20 total occasions, including six other times by Texas. This marks the third season (2005, ‘07) that multiple teams have been perfect in conference play at home.
For the second straight year, six or more Big 12 teams have recorded 20+ wins. This marks just the third time in league history that six-plus squads have hit the 20-win mark (six in 2011 & seven in 1997).