Saturday, March 10, 2012
Missouri tops Texas for spot in Big 12 final
By ESPN.com wire services
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Missouri fans grumbling about not getting to play Kansas in the Big 12 title game will get no sympathy from Kim English.
The Tigers' star guard will not hear of it. After scoring 23 points in a bruising 81-67 victory over Texas in the semifinals Friday night, he's just happy to be in the championship game against anybody as his school bids farewell to the Big 12.
"We would have played Texas Tech, Iowa State, Oklahoma State, Baylor, Texas, anybody," English said. "We just want to win the Big 12."
The second-seeded Tigers (29-4) will meet No. 12 Baylor, which upset No. 3 Kansas 81-72 in the earlier semifinal. The Bears (27-6), swept in two games against Missouri in the regular season, will be seeking the first championship by a Texas team in the tournament's 16-year history.
"We played Baylor my freshman year to win the Big 12 tournament," said English. "Our coaches didn't come here earlier (Friday) to scout Kansas. They came here to see what both teams did. We will prepare to beat Baylor tomorrow."
The Tigers, who are heading to the Southeastern Conference this year, got a career-high 23 points from Phil Pressey and led Texas almost the entire way. Ricardo Ratliffe had 18 points and 14 rebounds for the Tigers.
In the second half, English hobbled into the tunnel with a leg injury and Texas' J'Covan Brown, the Big 12's leading scorer, went to the bench after crashing into a cluster of photographers behind the basket. Neither stayed out of the game for long.