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Sports in the United States
2010–11 Big 12 Conference men's basketball season
Sports are an important part of the culture of the United States. Four of the nation's five most popular team sports were developed in North America: American football, basketball, baseball and ice hockey, whereas soccer was developed in England. The four Major leagues in the United States are the National Basketball Association (NBA), National Football League (NFL), Major League Baseball (MLB), the National Hockey League (NHL); all enjoy massive media exposure and are considered the preeminent competitions in their respective sports in the world. Three of those leagues have teams that represent Canadian cities, and all four are among the most lucrative sports leagues in the world. The top professional soccer league in the United States, Major League Soccer, has not yet reached the popularity levels of the top four sports leagues, although average attendance has been increasing and in fact has matched or surpassed those of the NBA and the NHL.
Professional teams in all major sports operate as franchises within a league. All major sports leagues use the same type of schedule with a playoff tournament after the regular season ends. In addition to the major league-level organizations, several sports also have professional minor leagues, active in smaller cities across the country.
Big 12 Men's Basketball Tournament
The 2010–11 Big 12 Conference men's basketball season marks the 15th season of Big 12 Conference basketball.
This will be the final season for the Big 12 as a 12-team conference, as two schools will leave at the end of the 2010–11 academic year. Colorado will join the Pacific-10 Conference, which will become the Pacific-12, while Nebraska will join the Big Ten Conference.
Missouri Tigers football
American League Championship Series
The Big 12 Men's Basketball Tournament (known since its inception in 1997 under sponsorship agreements as the Phillips 66 Big 12 Men's Basketball Tournament) is the championship men's basketball tournament in the Big 12 Conference. It is a single-elimination tournament of four rounds, with the top four seeds getting byes in the first round. Starting in 2012, the top six seeds will get byes in the first round. Seeding is based on regular season records.
The tournament has been held every year since the first full basketball season was completed in 1997. (The Big 12 was formed in 1996) Since that time, it was held in Kemper Arena in Kansas City, Missouri in early March for every year up until 2003, and also in 2005. In 2003, 2004, and 2006 it was held at the American Airlines Center in Dallas, Texas, and in 2007 it was held in the Ford Center at Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. In 2008 it was again held in Kansas City, but this time at the Sprint Center.
In Major League Baseball, the American League Championship Series (ALCS), played in October, is a round in the postseason that determines the winner of the American League pennant. The winner of the series advances to play the winner of the National League Championship Series in baseball's championship, the World Series.
It started in 1969, when the American League was reorganized into two divisions, East and West. The winners of each division played each other in a best-of-five series to determine who would advance to the World Series. In 1985, the format changed to best-of-seven. In 1994, the league was restructured into three divisions, with the three division winners and a wild-card team advancing to a best-of-five postseason round, known as the American League Division Series (ALDS). The winners of that round then advanced to the best-of-seven ALCS. in 2012, the playoffs were expanded again so that two wild card teams face off in a one game wild card round to determine which team advances to the division series, with the playoffs then continuing as it had before 2012 (though with the possibility of a fifth seed being in the playoffs and a fourth seed being out) after the end of the wild card round. This is the system currently in use.