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WHAT OTHERS SAY: Keeping Big 12 tournaments in Kansas City eases fears for conference

Tuesday, June 5, 2012 | 4:18 p.m. CDT

Remember all those predictions just a few months ago that the Big 12 Conference was on life support?

And that the defection by Missouri to the Southeastern Conference would damage Kansas City's ability to keep big-time events such as the men's basketball tournament?

Nevermind.

Events of the past few weeks have strengthened the Big 12's future in college's two big-money sports.

In basketball, Kansas City scored an enormous victory Friday when conference officials announced they would continue to hold the men's tournament at Sprint Center through 2016, or two years longer than initially scheduled. That event will keep the hotels full and the taps flowing in the Power & Light District.

In football, the conference will collaborate with the SEC to begin a season-ending bowl game matching their top teams. That links up arguably the two most powerful football conferences in America.

Both of these announcements also are positive for the two remaining Kansas City-area Big 12 schools, Kansas and Kansas State.

Just a few short months ago both wondered whether they would even still belong to a big-time conference if the Big 12 disappeared after the losses of Missouri and Texas A&M to the SEC.

Now those fears are eased, and Kansas City has emerged a big winner.

Copyright The Kansas City Star. Reprinted with permission. Questions? Contact Opinion editor Elizabeth Conner.


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