Regular season champion Baylor will be the top seed at the 2012 Phillips 66 Big 12 Baseball Championship, set for Wednesday, May 23-Sunday, May 27 at Chickasaw Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City.
First-day matchups include - Division One: No. 1 Baylor vs. No. 8 Kansas State -12:30 p.m. & No. 4 Oklahoma vs. No. 5 Oklahoma State - 9:00 a.m.; Division Two: No. 2 Texas A&M vs. No. 7 Kansas - 4:00 p.m. and No. 3 Texas vs. No. 6 Missouri -7:30 p.m.
After starting conference play 18-0, BU (42-12, 20-4) clinched a share of the regular season title on the final weekend of April, a week after a series sweep of then-ranked No. 2 Texas A&M. The Bears clinched the crown outright during the first weekend in May, securing the No. 1 overall seed for just the second time (2000). Baylor is one of two conference teams to qualify for every Big 12 baseball postseason championship (Oklahoma) and have reached the final game more times than any other active conference member. Baylor has made six championship finals appearances (1999, 2000, ‘03, ‘05, ‘07 and ‘10), but have yet to take home a postseason crown. Overall, BU is 25-24 at the event and, before this year, had not been seeded higher than fifth since 2005 when they were a two seed.
Kansas State (26-29, 7-17) draws the Bears in its opener, sneaking in with the No. 8 seed after taking two of three from Texas Tech (29-26, 7-17) this weekend. Although the two teams finished with identical league records, the Wildcats knocked the Red Raiders out of the tournament with the series win in Lubbock. After making the postseason championship just once in the league's first 10 years, this marks K-State's sixth-straight appearance. The Wildcats are 3-1 against Baylor at the event.
Defending champion Texas A&M is the No. 2 seed for the second year in a row and third time overall (2012, ‘11, ‘03). The Aggies (41-14, 16-8) have won the past two championships with extra-inning, walk-off home runs (Andrew Collazo, 2011; Brodie Greene, 2010). Subsequently, TAMU carries an 8-0 championship win streak into the event and has the second-best winning percentage with a .578 mark in their 13 appearances. A&M has a seven-game win streak intact and will face seventh-seeded Kansas (22-32, 7-16), who solidified its spot in the field with two wins over Missouri this weekend. This will mark the first meeting between the Jayhawks and Aggies in the Big 12's postseason championship.
On the same side of the bracket as the Aggies and Jayhawks, Texas (30-20, 14-10) claims the No. 3 seed. The Longhorns have been seeded three or higher in 11 of their 14 postseason appearances and will face eighth-seeded Missouri (28-26, 10-14). MU advanced to its third championship appearance last season when it became the first eight seed to make the finale. The Tigers were victims of Texas A&M's walk-off heroics, however, and couldn't pull off the underdog win. MU is 6-1 versus Texas at the event, including two wins last year when the Tigers defeated the then-top seed Longhorns. Baylor is the only other league squad with a winning record against Texas at the event (4-3).
Bedlam rivals Oklahoma (35-21, 13-10) and Oklahoma State (32-23, 13-11) are paired in the Wednesday morning matchup with OU as the No. 4 seed and OSU as the No. 5 seed. The Sooners have gone undefeated against the Cowboys at the event, holding a 7-0 advantage. The two teams have not met in the championship since May 25, 2007, and have been matched up in the opening round on two occasions (2002, ‘00). In 2002, the two squads also held the No. 4 and No. 5 seeds respectively.
The Championship is played under a two-division, double-elimination format. The eight teams with the best league records (based on winning percentage) in regular season competition qualify for the event and are divided into two division with seeds 1, 4, 5 and 8 in division one and seeds 2, 3, 6 and 7 in division two. There is no cross-division play until two team reach the championship game on Sunday.
Live action from the event will be streamed on the Big 12 Digital Network and available on Big12Sports.com. Audio from the webcast will be broadcast on SiriusXM Radio, a Big 12 corporate partner. Sunday's championship finale will be on FSN with a 1:06 p.m. first pitch.
The winner of the 2012 Phillips 66 Big 12 Baseball Championship earns the league's automatic bid into the 2012 Division I NCAA Baseball Championship. The Road to Omaha Selection Show will air on Monday, May 28 at 11 a.m. CT on ESPNU.
Single-game tickets will be available on Monday, May 21. All-session tickets are available from $87 for terrace reserved to $117 for box seating to $202 for club-level seats. A limited number of weekend passes are also available starting at $67. All-session tickets include all games, including the if-necessary games, totaling 15 games. Single-session tickets will be available the week of the event.
Tickets can be purchased by calling the Oklahoma City RedHawks Box Office at (405) 218-1000 or by visiting Big12Sports.com
The postseason crown has been won by seven different league squads. Past postseason champions include Kansas (2006), Nebraska (1999-2001, ‘05), Oklahoma (1997), Oklahoma State (2004), Texas (2002, ‘03, ‘08-'09), Texas A&M (2007, ‘10-'11) and Texas Tech (1998).