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Quotes From Around The Big 12 On The Big Dance
March 17, 2014
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Wendell Barnhouse is a nationally-known and respected columnist who has spent over 20 years covering collegiate athletics. He has reported from 25 Final Fours and more than three dozen bowl games and has written about the Big 12 and its schools since the conference's beginning. Barnhouse will be updating the Big 12 Insider on happenings and behind-the-scenes information about the conference.

Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby on the Big 12 having seven teams in the field and all seeded No. 9 or higher while peer conferences all had teams seeded lower than nine:
“The committee is very sophisticated in looking at conference records and they know a 9-9 in our league is different than a 9-9 in other leagues. I heard on television Sunday at Virginia had played the ACC’s top four teams just one time each. That makes a different conference record than playing everybody twice. I have no doubt strength of our league had a lot to do with the seeding.”

Baylor coach Scott Drew on his team’s assignment to San Antonio, which is about 180 miles down I-35 from Waco:
“We’re playing in San Antonio. Love it,” Baylor coach Scott Drew said. “It’s great that our fans will be able to drive now because they make a big impact on the game. I remember when we were in Houston (in the 2010 NCAA tournament) and the great advantage we had. I couldn’t be more excited to be in San Antonio. It’s a weekend for Baylor Nation on the Riverwalk, let’s go.”

Oklahoma State coach Travis Ford, whose team lost its first game last year as a No. 5 seed, facing a Gonzaga team that was the No. 1 seed but was upset in the third round. Gonzaga won in Stillwater, 69-68, last season:
"It's a totally different year. I don't think our team gets caught up into whether we won or lost the last game. We won't put too much stock into it because we are a different team than we were last year - and they're a different team. But I don't think you get too caught up into how that game was played other than certain personnel."

Kansas coach Bill Self on his team’s No. 2 seed in the South Regional, which is he says might be toughest of the four:
“Not to get ahead of ourselves at all, but in our regional, you’ve got the best team in the country (No. 1 seed Florida). You’ve got a team that four weeks ago was thought to be the best team in the country (No. 3 seed Syracuse). You’ve got a team in (No. 4 seed) UCLA that’s one of the hottest teams in the country. You could make a case that if everybody in our regional plays to their ceiling, our regional could be as good as anybody’s. But you just want to win two games this weekend. That’s the focus.”

Eastern Kentucky coach Jeff Neubauer on his No. 15 seeded team facing No. 2 seed Kansas in the first game:
“We knew we were going to draw a great team. We knew we were gonna draw a Duke or Michigan or Kansas. And we just happened to draw one of the greatest programs in the history of college basketball, so our team is looking forward to the challenge, and we’ll see if we’re ready for this test.”

Senior guard Will Spradling, on Kansas State setting a school record by appearing in the NCAA Tournament for five consecutive years:
 “It feels great, knowing we were able to accomplish something that not a lot of players at Kansas State have. It adds to our legacy.”

Texas sophomore center Cam Ridley on the Longhorns returning to the NCAA Tournament after a year’s absence:
“That’s the first time I’ve ever watched the selection show. I know that sounds bad. Kind of nerve-racking leading up to that point because we didn’t know where we’d be. But it was fun, I guess you could say. It gives us a breath of fresh air, playing somebody who hasn't played us two or three times already. We're not playing against somebody who knows what we're going to do already.”

Iowa State coach Fred Hoiberg, the Big 12 Championship winner, on his team’s readiness for the NCAA Tournament:
“Our schedule definitely helped us for what’s upcoming, not only the nonconference schedule, but what we’ve gone through the last couple weeks. You play so many different styles over the course of a season. BYU mixes zone and man, Iowa presses you. Kansas State plays a physical man-to-man, it’s the length of Kansas, and then you’ve got that Baylor zone. We’re a pretty confident team right now.”

Oklahoma coach Lon Kruger, whose team lost its opening game last year in the NCAA Tournament, on not sweating on Selection Sunday:
“It was much better sitting there and waiting to see who the opponent is going to be and the location as opposed to wondering if your name is going to be called,” OU coach Lon Kruger said. “That’s a credit to these guys. They’ve earned this and they’ve made the progress necessary. I know they’ll be excited about lining up and working to get a better result than we did a year ago.”

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