Kansas City (Big 12) - The Big 12 Conference has announced its schedule on ESPN's Big Monday platform for the 2011 season, highlighting a slate that will include more than 100 games on the ESPN family of networks.
The continuation of the long-standing and popular arrangement with ESPN will tip off with a unique setup on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day - Monday, January 17. Four Big 12 teams will be in action, starting with Kansas State at Missouri at 4:30 p.m. The second Big 12 contest that day will have Kansas traveling to Baylor. All four squads earned NCAA bids last season, with Baylor and K-State advancing to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament.
Baylor will make its second consecutive Big Monday appearance when it travels to Manhattan to face KSU on January 24. The Wildcats posted an exciting 76-74 victory in Waco a year ago. Texas and Texas A&M will continue their Lone Star Showdown Series when they face off on January 31.
Two well-known Big 12 rivalries will take place the next two weeks. On February 7, Missouri travels to Kansas. The Jayhawks won both meetings in 2009-10. KU then travels to Sunflower State-rival Kansas State on February 14 in a continuation of the longest-running series between two conference squads.
Oklahoma State travels to Kansas on February 21. The Cowboys handed the Jayhawks their only regular-season Big 12 loss last season, posting a 85-77 win in Stillwater. The Big Monday schedule wraps up on February 28 as KSU plays the Longhorns in Austin. The Wildcats were 71-62 winners in Manhattan in 2009-10.
The Big 12 was rated as the No. 1 conference in the nation in the RPI last season and placed a league-record seven teams in the NCAA field a year ago. Six different teams have advanced to the regional finals over the past three seasons, the first time since the NCAA field expanded in 1985 that any conference has accomplished the feat during a three-year span. The full composite conference schedule, including games on CBS, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, Big 12 Network and ESPN's College GameDay, will be released in the coming weeks.