Houston and BYU advanced to the West final and that vote started Wednesday morning. The East region second round is still rolling on with Cincinnati vs UCF and Memphis vs East Carolina. The voting for the East 2nd round will end Wednesday night at 11:59 PM. The East final will post Thursday morning with the poll ending Sunday night at 11:59 PM CST.
(1) Cincinnati vs (4) UCF
University of Cincinnati
Endowment: $1.2 Billion
TV Market: Cincinnati Metro area, 2.1 million population
To me, Cincinnati would be a great addition to the Big 12. It helps Iowa St and West Virginia geography wise, and the school has great enrollment and endowment numbers. Cincinnati can also be competitive right away in football and basketball. Cincy would also bring the Big 12 into a new TV market. It seems as though they check all the boxes for what one would think a school needs to be added.
University of Central Florida
Enrollment: 60, 821
Endowment: $155.5 Million
TV Market: Greater Orlando area, 2.1 million population
UCF knocked off UConn in the first round and are looking to beat Cincy in round 2. This matchup pits two quality schools against one another. UCF has a greater enrollment number than Cincy but Cincy has a much higher endowment number. I'd take Orlando over Cincinnati though when it comes to TV markets. I expect this contest to be very close.
(2) Memphis vs (6) East Carolina
University of Memphis
Endowment: $218.3 Million
TV Market: Greater Memphis area, 1.3 million population
Speaking on geography, Memphis would be a great fit. It helps expand the Big 12 east and opens up a new TV market. One downfall though is their facilities may not be up to par with other Big 12 schools. Memphis does however have FedEx in their corner and have mentioned they would upgrade their facilities. If Memphis was to be added, they'd be an interesting choice.
Endowment: $188 Million
TV Market: Greenville, NC, 89,000 population
East Carolina upset USF in its first round contest and now sets its sights on Memphis. While East Carolina is located in Greenville, NC they do have a strong alumni base in the Richmond, VA and Washington, DC area. As I mentioned in the first post, East Carolina is a darkhorse candidate for Big 12 expansion. I don't believe they'll be added when all is said and done but you never know!