Missouri Gov. on new Big XII

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) _ Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon says the Big

12 will be a stronger basketball conference without Colorado and

Nebraska.

Nixon on Tuesday called the departing universities “the two

weakest basketball programs'' in the Big 12. Colorado is leaving

for the Pac-10 in 2012 while Nebraska is joining the Big Ten next

year.

The Missouri governor says the remaining Big 12 schools could

have a better shot of making the NCAA tournament. He said poor

win-loss records and weaker schedules by Nebraska and Colorado were

dragging down the rankings of other Big 12 schools.

Last December, Nixon suggested Missouri should consider joining

the Big Ten because it had stronger academics than some Big 12

schools. That invitation never came.