This is 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. Overall, the Big 12 has earned 102 bids in 17 years of competition. The Conference is 155-95 in NCAA postseason play, a winning mark of .620. The Big 12 is 72-22 in the first round of NCAA action.
The Longhorns (23-4), who are set to host one of four regionals, will face Patriot League winner Colgate (17-13) in Austin on Thursday. Should Texas, which is 25-0 in first round competition, advance, they will face the winner of NC State-Texas A&M.
Kansas (25-6), also on the Austin Regional side of the bracket, will host Horizon League champion Cleveland State (23-6) in Lawrence on Friday. Should the Jayhawks advance, they will take on the winner of Wichita State-Arkansas. This marks the first NCAA appearance for KU since 2005.
The Cyclones (20-7) will open against Summit League champion IP Fort Wayne (25-6) in Ames on Thursday as part of the Berkeley Regional. Iowa State can meet either California or North Carolina in the second round.
Kansas State (21-8) and Oklahoma (21-10) are in the Omaha Regional. The Wildcats travel to Lincoln, Neb., to face Northern Iowa (24-9) with a chance to meet either No. 4 national seed Nebraska or Maryland Eastern Shore in the second round. K-State traveled to Lincoln for the opening rounds last season, defeating the Huskers in the second round to advance to the regional semifinals.
Oklahoma meets Arizona State (20-13) in Provo, Utah, for first round action. The Sooners will face either BYU or New Mexico State should they advance to the second round.
Texas (No. 3), Iowa State (No. 18), Kansas (No. 20) and Kansas State (No. 25) are all ranked in the AVCA top 25.
First and second round competition of the NCAA Division I Women's Volleyball Championship is held at 16 campus sites Nov. 29-30 or Nov. 30-Dec. 1. Winners advance to four regional tournaments, held Dec. 7-8. The four predetermined sites are: Haas Pavilion in Berkeley, Calif., CenturyLink Center Omaha in Omaha, Neb., Gregory Gymnasium in Austin, Texas, and Mackey Arena in West Lafayette, Ind. Regional semifinals will be telecast on ESPN3 with regional finals available on ESPNU.
Each quarterfinal winner will advance to semifinal action in Louisville, Ky., held Thursday, Dec. 13 at 6 or 8 p.m. CT at the KFC YUM! Center. The national championship match will be played at 6 p.m. CT on Saturday, Dec. 15. Both the national semifinal and national championship will be on ESPN2/ESPN3.
BIG 12 FIRST ROUND MATCHUPS
Thursday, Nov. 29
Kansas State vs. Northern Iowa, 4:30 p.m. - Lincoln, Neb. - Omaha Regional
Colgate at No. 3 Texas, 7:00 p.m. - Austin, Texas - Austin Regional
IP Fort Wayne at No. 15 Iowa State, 7:30 p.m. - Ames, Iowa - Berkeley Regional
Friday, Nov. 30
Oklahoma vs. Arizona State, 6:00 p.m. - Provo, Utah - Omaha Regional
Cleveland State at No. 11 Kansas, 6:30 p.m. - Lawrence, Kan. - Austin Regional
Times are listed in CT.
ABOUT THE BIG 12 TEAMS IN THE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIP FIELD
Texas (23-4, 15-1 Big 12) claimed its sixth conference crown this season (1997, 2007-'09, ‘11, ‘12). The Longhorns have been ranked in the AVCA top 10 all season, including a No. 3 mark for the past three weeks. UT has won 40 straight Big 12 matches at home and finished the season with a perfect record at home in league matches. This year, UT will serve as a host for one of the four regional sites. In 2011, UT appeared in its 28th overall NCAA tournament, advancing to the regional finals before losing to eventual national champion UCLA. UT has advanced to the regional finals each year since 2006, including trips to the national semifinal match in 2010 and 2008 plus an appearance in the national championship in 2009. The Longhorns have appeared in the NCAA tournament all but one season while competing in the Big 12.
Iowa State (20-7, 13-3), which finished second in the Big 12 this season, is making its seventh straight postseason appearance. The Cyclones have advanced to the NCAA field every year since 2006, with eight total appearances and a 12-7 record. The Cyclones have made it to the regionals on four occasions, including in 2011, when they made their second appearance in the regional final match. ISU enters postseason play with a 10-match winning streak. The Cyclones are 19-4 after opening the season 1-3.
Kansas (25-6, 12-4) is making its fourth NCAA appearance and first since 2005. The Jayhawks' three previous appearances came from 2003-'05. KU has not advanced past the second round at the event, but enters this year's tournament with its most wins in the Big 12 era. Kansas has been ranked in the AVCA top 25 for eight straight weeks and recorded a program-best No. 17 ranking earlier this season. KU's RPI is currently No. 6 - also a program record. KU was picked to finish sixth in the league, but concluded the year in third place - its best finish in the Big 12 standings.
Oklahoma (21-10, 10-6) earns its ninth overall berth and sixth in the last seven years. OU is 8-8 all-time in postseason play and advanced to the regionals in 2010 and 2006.
Kansas State (21-8, 8-8) is making its second consecutive NCAA appearance and 14th overall. The Wildcats went undefeated in non-conference play this season, opening the year with a 12-0 mark. K-State has been ranked in the AVCA top 25 all season and has 16 sweeps on the year. The Wildcats advanced to the regionals last season after upsetting No. 2 national seed Nebraska in Lincoln in the second round.