Saturday, January 9, 2010
Don't count out Mizzou
By Dana O'Neil
Yes, Missouri is tough at home, as a 30-game home win streak will attest.
But the Tigers are also just flat-out tough. Mike Anderson's "fastest 40 minutes" stepchild of Nolan Richardson is every bit as demonic and game-altering as Richardson's hell.
Just ask Frank Martin.
Tenth-ranked Kansas State just fell to the Tigers, 74-68, in a game that was textbook Anderson. Missouri created offense with its defense, but more than that created havoc. The Wildcats were whistled for 32 fouls and coughed the ball up 20 times. I'm frankly surprised that the tightly wound, hypercompetitive Martin didn't actually self-combust during the game.
I'm not sure that this Missouri team, minus DeMarre Carroll and Leo Lyons, has enough talent to get to the Elite Eight like last year's squad. But with J.T. Tiller establishing the Tigers' attitude and Zaire Taylor continuing to live up to his Mr. Big Shot nickname -- he drained a 3 in the waning seconds that ultimately led to Missouri's win -- anyone interested in counting Mizzou out does so at his or her own risk.