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Brett Yormark: Big 12 ‘No Longer’ Having Discussions to Add UConn, Gonzaga

Yormark says his focus is on the transition of the four-corner schools.



[Liz Parke/Big 12]

It looks like the Big 12 will not go full-Thanos on men’s hoops. 

Before the league added the four-corner schools– Arizona, Arizona State, Colorado and Utah– there was some significant smoke that the league might add Gonzaga and UConn. That expansion would have added two high-end hoops programs to a league that was already as deep and as tough as any in the country.

But league commissioner Brett Yormark on Wednesday went on The Marchand & Ourand Sports Media Podcast and put a halt on any rumors of the Big 12 becoming an all-universe hoops conference.

Yormark indicated that it was the “four-corner schools” addition, which he called “the dream scenario,” that brought those talks to a halt.

“I did have conversations with UConn and Gonzaga and, unfortunately, things didn’t work out, only because the dream scenario unfolded for us. So those conversations are no longer,” said Yormark.

Pulling UConn — fresh off of a national championship — from the Big East Conference would have been a coup, and Gonzaga has been one of the best basketball brand names, and consistently good, for years.

Before Yormark made the deal two weeks ago that helped to dismantle the Pac-12, there was “momentum” for UConn to join the Big 12 and “mutual admiration” between Gonzaga and Big 12 brass. It looks like that admiration still goes at least one way, even if the deal is not moving forward.

“I’m a big admirer of both of those programs,” said Yormark on the podcast. “They’re fantastic for all the right reasons. But right now, I’m focused on the transition of those four in, right now, and also how do I leverage the fact that I’m now a 16-team league in 10 states with 90 million people and four different time zones? So that’s my focus right now.”

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