Conference tournament basketball begins for the three area major schools today. Missouri plays in its first Southeastern Conference tournament game tonight in Nashville as the number-6 seed. In Kansas City at the Big 12 tournament, top-seeded Kansas plays this afternoon at 2, then K-State takes the floor tonight at 6.
With Missouri fans chanting "S-E-C,S-E-C" before the Tigers won their final Big 12 tournament last year, it leaves one thing for certain this year at the Big 12 tournament: A different team will win it.
But that doesn't rule out the possibility that Missouri will return to Kansas City next week for the NCAA tournament. Doug Elgin, the commissioner of the Missouri Valley Conference and a former member of the NCAA tournament selection committee, believes the teams sent to Kansas City will appeal to the fans.
"You're going to see if Kansas will be a top 2 seed, which is probable," said Elgin. "They'll probably be kept close to home. I do think you're going to see a real good Midwestern flavor to seeded field at Sprint Center."
What's really at stake for the Big 12 tournament is KU, Kansas State and Iowa State playing for a chance to have a return engagement in Kansas City next week.