Friday, March 19, 2010
Final: Missouri 86, Clemson 78
By Dana O'Neil
BUFFALO -- A few quick impressions after Missouri's upset of Clemson.
For starters, this isn't an upset. Yes, Mizzou was a No. 10 seed Clemson a 7, but anyone who has been paying attention all season knows that the (gold) Tigers are a very good team. Mix in the Susan Lucci curse on Oliver Purnell -- 0-for-6 in the NCAA tournament with three different schools now -- and this cannot in good conscience be called an upset.
Mizzou could give West Virginia absolute fits. The speed of the game and the Tigers gnat-like peskiness will certainly disrupt the Mountaineers. Joe Mazzulla is going to have to steer a steady ship.
Tons of credit to the undermanned Mizzou frontcourt. Without Justin Safford (ACL) and with Laurence Bowers playing with a club on his injured left wrist, they still managed to contain Trevor Booker and Jerai Grant (11 and 12 points respectively). Keith Ramsey was a monster with 20 points and seven rebounds and Bowers was equally tough with 15.
And if there is a bigger pain in the posterior (and I mean that in the best sense of the word) in college basketball than J.T. Tiller I'd like to meet him. The senior runs around like his shorts are on fire and is absolutely everywhere. He sets the tone for this 40 minutes of speed that is Mizzou basketball. He finished with 10 points, four assists and five steals.