Louisville would be big addition

We’ve said it here before and it couldn’t be more painfully obvious: all the realignment chatter has nothing to do with basketball.

But since this is a basketball site and we are basketball-crazed, we look at the realignment madness from a basketball slant.

The Big 12 will first have to convince itself and others that it will stabilize for a period of time. If it does and the schools play nice, adding Louisville to the mix would be a huge boost for the basketball profile of the conference. 

Could this man soon be coaching in the Big 12? I sure hope so. Image courtesy best-basketball-tips.com.

Louisville, in my estimation, would immediately become the second-most accomplished and prestigious basketball program in the conference. Clearly Kansas is the top dog, and even Missouri fans couldn’t deny that.

This is what the Cardinals bring: 37 NCAA tournament appearances, which is good for fifth all-time and ahead of Duke and Indiana.

But they’ve cashed in those appearances with eight Final Fours and most importantly two national championships. Only 35 schools have won a national championship, and only 14 of those have won it more than once. Louisville is one of them.

Oklahoma State would be the closest competition to the “coveted” title of the Big 12 Basketball Blog’s second-most accomplished program in the Big 12. The Cowboys also have two national championships. But Louisville has 13 more NCAA’s and 100+ more total wins, along with with two more Final Four appearances. Additionally, although the Cowboys have been competitive in the past decade, Louisville has been better by winning a Big East title and appearing in the 2005 Final Four.

The Big 12 has some programs which are trending upwards but don’t have a boatload of history in Texas and Baylor (Texas A&M is too but nowadays we’ll mention them as little as possible…just joking…kind of). And in the case of Texas, they could be a sleeping basketball giant considering their resources, recent development of NBA players and increasing popularity of their brand in the state of Texas.

The more exposure Longhorn basketball gets (as it presumably would with the infamous Longhorn Network), the more all those Texas athletes will choose basketball over football. But then again the same increased exposure argument could be made for football too. Still, Texas has potential to vault itself into a different basketball-strata, but as of the present it is not on the same level as Louisville.

Oklahoma, Missouri and Kansas State are all solid programs with decent history, but none of them rise to the level of Louisville, mainly because none have won a national championship.

Louisville may not be in the “blueblood” class of Kentucky, UCLA, North Carolina, Kansas and Duke. But they certainly are in the next group of great programs, with teams like Indiana and Connecticut. Adding them to the Big 12, at least for basketball purposes, would be fantastic.



4 Responses to Louisville would be big addition

  1. JustinB says:

    The scenario that gets the Big 12 BYU, Louisville, and TCU is ideal. I really would rather keep it at 10 teams though. Add Louisville and leave it at that. Solid football and basketball addition.

    • GPM says:

      I agree. BYU would be a nice grab too, but they don’t seem that good a fit to me: they are far away and would be a faith-based school in a conference full of public schools (besides Baylor). Not that it couldn’t work, it just doesn’t seem to fit.

      TCU doesn’t do much for me anyway. I think people are getting caught up in their recent football success.

      I don’t see much of a downgrade going from A&M to Louisville.

  2. Uconn says:

    Connecticut has made the Sweet 16 a total of 13 times in the last 20 years. They have also won 3 national championships. They deserve to be in the top tier with Kansas and Duke.

    • GPM says:

      It’s definitely close between those three schools. My thinking on not including them was the Final Four disparity: Duke (15) and Kansas (13) have quite a bit more than UConn (4). Though that is a heck of a ratio they have with FF appearances and national championships.

      I think if anything UCLA, NC and Kentucky are obvious “bluebloods” and others like UConn, Kansas, Indiana, Duke, etc. can be argued. Thanks for the comment.

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