The Big 12 has released the 2012 men's basketball conference schedule and WOW! do I love the new format.
As you know, for the life of the conference as we knew it, schools played each other school in their division twice and the schools in the other division once. So the best two teams in the conference - say Kansas and Texas - might only play each other once a season, and depending on how the schedule fell, the home team would have a distinct advantage.
But with the departure of Colorado and Nebraska, the conference decided to schedule each school to play the other nine twice per season, in home-and-home affairs.
Now the conference is balanced. Conference seeding is no longer dependant on scheduling, as no team will have the distinct home court advantage they might have had with the old system.
The new scheduling also allows for rivalries to build. Say a game between two old South division and North division opponents gets a little testy or one team wins on a buzzer beater. With the old system there was a slight chance the two would meet in the conference tourney, but now there is redemption to be had.
All in all the change is great for the conference, will allow rivalries to build and just generally make the conference stronger come tournament time.