December 18, 2010 7:42 AM
The Big 12 will break the spell of silence that's been settled over college basketball while players take their final exams in school and coaches get set for the conference games that start in earnest a lot of places shortly after Christmas. The Big 12 has six solid non-conference tests slated for today, most on national television. It starts with USC-Kansas (Noon, ESPN) and continues with a doubleheader at The Palace in Dallas. Arkansas plays Texas A&M (2 ET, ESPN2) and that's followed by Gonzaga-Baylor (4:30 ET, ESPN2). At 3:30 EST, the best matchup of the day is Kansas State-Florida, and for some reason every listing I look at doesn't show this game on any national television outlet. In this day and age that's appalling and I doubt it's even true. Check your local listings to see if these two teams, each with Final Four hopes, will be on anywhere. In the evening it's Alabama-Oklahoma State (6:30 ET, ESPN2) and Cincinnati-Oklahoma (9, ESPNU). And the one the entire country will see will go mid-day, as Texas visits North Carolina (4 ET, CBS), a game between two marquee programs trying to show they are still relevant on the national scene. The Notebook will be back tomorrow to sort through the results and see what we learned about Big 12 hoops.
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Dan Flaherty is the editor of the Sports Notebook Family, published through the Real Clear Sports Blog Network, offering daily commentary in the NFL, coverage of college basketball. and bowl commentary in college football. He is the author of The Last New Year's, a book that revisits the historic high points of college football's New Year's Day bowl games.