KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Big 12's coaches repeated it all year: This season is the strongest the conference has ever been.
Turns out they were right.
Earning a conference-record seven NCAA tournament berths, the Big 12 has moved up to a level usually only reached by powerhouse conferences like the Big East and ACC.
Perennial power Kansas earned the No. 1 overall seed and will play in the Midwest regional, starting in Oklahoma City on Thursday. Kansas State's best season in decades led to its highest seeding ever at No. 2. The Wildcats will play in Oklahoma, too, only in the West.
Baylor, Missouri, Oklahoma State, Texas and Texas A&M also got in, surpassing a 2-year string of getting six teams into the tournament.