Big 12 Conference’s basketball teams will play 20 league games in 2024-25 season

The Big 12 Conference will move to a 20-game schedule for the 2024-25 men’s basketball season, a league official confirmed to The Star on Monday.

Kansas Jayhawks coach Bill Self discussed the league’s possible move from 18 games to to a 20-game slate on Andy Katz’s NCAA March Madness Podcast on Monday. The league has had an 18-game schedule since the 2011-12 season.

Before that, each team played 16 league games.

“I’ll say this, we’re going to 20 games this year in our league,” Self said. “Last year, 18 (games) I think totally beat the heck out of everybody. Our league was so competitive last year.”

“We didn’t play as well in the league last year as what we had in most years. You look at it Houston could be a preseason top 5 team. Iowa State could be a preseason top 5 team. Baylor could be a preseason top 5 team. We could be a preseason top 5 team. Oh yeah, and you add Arizona.”

He continued.

“That doesn’t include everybody else that is so good and so competitive and I may have left somebody out,” Self said. “It’s going to be a monster of a league.”

KU went 10-8 in Big 12 play a year ago, tying BYU for fifth in the standings.

“The one thing that’s a little different now,” Self said, “is obviously the majority of those teams you’ll play once where when it was the Big 12 and we had 10 (teams) regardless of who was in the league you played twice. That (having 16 teams in 2024-25) obviously makes the league a little different. This league ... as good as it was last year I see it even being better next year.”

The Big 12 has not yet announced the league slate for 2024-25. Self said at this year’s season-ending KU basketball banquet he was not in favor of a 20-game league schedule.

“We don’t want that,” he said on April 15. “You go to 20 league games, and then you’re already playing an exempt tournament, and you’ve got the Champions (Classic), and you’ve got ... if the Big East challenge continues, and you play four home-and-homes, your schedule’s basically done and you don’t even talk about a buy game or anything.”

“One of our problems this year with our young kids was we didn’t play a schedule that allowed those guys to play through mistakes. Going to 20 league games, it would be that on steroids.”

The Big 12 this fall is adding Arizona, Arizona State, Utah and Colorado alongside its returnees: KU, Houston, Iowa State, Baylor, Texas Tech, BYU, TCU, Kansas State, Cincinnati, UCF, Oklahoma State and West Virginia.

“I think they are great,” Self said Monday of the four new teams. “I think it’s good for our league. I think it gives us another footprint.

“I think from a timezone standpoint, getting in the Mountain time zone and getting into the Pacific time zone will be great for our league. I think they were four really terrific additions for us.”