March 17, 2009
Columbia, Mo. -
NCAA Tournament Central
NCAA March Madness On Demand - Watch Missouri vs. Cornell Live Online!
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Mizzou Basketball News and Notes 2008-09
#3 University of Missouri Tigers (28-6) vs.
#14 Cornell University Big Red (21-9)
2008-09 Game 35 - March 20, 2009 - Boise, Idaho
Tip-off: 2 p.m. CST
Arena: Taco Bell Arena - Boise, Idaho (12,000)
TV: CBS - (Craig Bolerjack - Play by Play; Bob Wenzel - Analyst)
Radio: Tiger Radio Network (Mike Kelly play-by-play; Gary Link analyst)
Rankings: Mizzou: 9/9, Cornell: NR/NR in Associated Press / USA Today Coaches polls
Series: Missouri leads Cornell 1-0 overall; Tigers won 82-45 in Columbia on Dec. 7, 1973
Missouri: Mike Anderson (Tulsa '82); 151-75 overall (7th season); 62-34 at Mizzou (3rd)
Cornell: Steve Donahue (Ursinus College '84); 117-132 overall (10th season); Same at Cornell
> Missouri makes its first appearance in NCAA Tournament play since the 2003 "Big Dance", as the third-seeded Tigers take on Ivy League Champion Cornell on Friday afternoon in Boise, Idaho ... Missouri is making its second NCAA trip to Boise ... MU split a pair of games as the #8 seed, defeating #9 Indiana (65-60), before falling to #1 overall seed UCLA (75-74) on an infamous last-second shot by Tyus Edney, which is relived over and over and over by Coca Cola this time of year.
> Missouri is 1-1 all-time vs. #14 seeds in the NCAA Tournament and is 2-2 all-time as the #3 seed ... The Tigers went 2-1 as a #3 seed in 1989 and 0-1 in 1990 ... Missouri defeated #14 Creighton (85-69) in the first round in 1989 and then topped #11 seeded Texas 108-89 before falling to #2-seeded Syracuse (83-80) ... #3 MU fell to #14 Northern Iowa (74-71) in the first round in 1990.
> This is the first trip to the NCAA Tournament for 13 of Missouri's 14 players, but Missouri senior guard Mike Anderson Jr., was part of NCAA Tournament play twice as player at Alabama-Birmingham ... The Blazers played in Boise, Idaho, and beat SEC Champion LSU on March 17, 2005, during Anderson's redshirt year and then made the Big Dance his redshirt freshman season in 2005-06.
> It's certainly been quite the turnaround for Missouri Basketball this year, as the Tigers head back to NCAA Tournament play for the 22nd time in school history ... Mizzou has improved by a school-record tying 12 games from last season's 16-16 record ... The 12-win improvement equals Norm Stewart's 1979-80 squad that won 25 games.
> MU is also just one win away from tying the school record for single-season victories ... The Tigers won 29 games in 1988-89, including a run to the Sweet 16 as a #3 seed through the Midwest Region.
> Missouri cleaned up on a number of postseason All-Big 12 awards at the end of the regular season ... Senior forward DeMarre Carroll was named First Team All-Big 12, First Team Academic All-Big 12 and was the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship Most Outstanding Player ... Leo Lyons was picked Third Team All-Big 12 and J.T. Tiller was an honorable mention selection ... Tiller also shared Defensive Player of the Year honors with Kansas' Cole Aldrich and was a unanimous pick to the All-Defensive Team, while Matt Lawrence was pegged Co-Sixth Man of the Year with Baylor's LaceDarius Dunn ... Zaire Taylor was named to the All-Rookie Team and was also named to the Big 12 All-Tourney squad.
> The Tigers rank among the nation's leaders in several statistical categories heading into this week's NCAA Tournament ... Mizzou is No. 6 nationally in scoring at 81.1 ppg, No. 1 in assists per game at 18.5, No. 2 in steals per game at 10.6, No. 2 nationally in assist/turnover ratio at 1.5 and No. 4 in scoring margin at 14.6 ... Another fun stat: Missouri is No. 5 nationally with 62.4 FG attempts per game and the Tigers have already made 209 more FGs than their opponents through 34 games thanks to the nation's No. 2-ranked turnover margin (+6.6).
NCAA Tournament West Region Schedule
Friday, March 20th
NOTE - All Times Are Boise Time (Mountain)
At Taco Bell Arena - Boise, Idaho
#6 Marquette (24-9) vs. #11 Utah State (30-4)
#3 Mizzou (28-6) vs. #14 Cornell (21-9)
Thursday, March 19th
Kansas City, Mo.
#2 Memphis (31-3) vs. #15 Cal. St.-North. (17-13)
#7 California (22-10) vs. #10 Maryland (20-13)
#8 BYU (25-7) vs. #9 Texas A&M (23-9)
#1 UConn (27-4) vs. #16 Chattanooga (18-16)
#5 Purdue (25-9) vs. #12 N. Iowa (23-10)
#4 Washington (25-8) vs. #13 Miss. St. (23-12)
Sunday, March 22nd
NOTE - All Times Are Boise Time (Mountain)
At Taco Bell Arena - Boise, Idaho
TBA - 12:20 or 2:50 p.m.
Saturday, March 21st
Connecticut / Chattanooga vs.
BYU / Texas A&M
Kansas City, Mo.
Memphis / Cal. St.-Northridge vs.
California / Maryland
Purdue / Northern Iowa vs.
Washington / Mississippi State
Mizzou Quick Hitters
> Just a reminder that Missouri's postseason history and records are available in the 2008-09 media guide on pages 116-121.
> Missouri is making its first trip to NCAA Tournament play since 2003 and will be facing Cornell for just the second time in school history ... The Tigers defeated the Big Red 82-45 and Tiger Radio Network Color Analyst Gary Link lit up the scoreboard for 25 points.
> Missouri is playing its first opponent from the Ivy League since the 2004 season-opener when MU hosted Brown in the first regular-season game inside Mizzou Arena.
> Missouri has been solid in neutral-court settings this year (5-2), which includes last week's Big 12 Championship ... The Tigers also defeated then No. 19 USC, the Pac-10 Tournament Champ, on a neutral court in San Juan.
> Missouri is entering NCAA Tournament play as a conference postseason tournament champion for the seventh time in school history ... The Tigers advanced to the Sweet 16 in 1989 after their Big Eight Tournament run that year, which netted the club an identical #3 seed.
> It's always important to leave things better than you found them and seniors Matt Lawrence and Leo Lyons have helped more than double Missouri's win total from their freshmen campaigns ... In 2005-06, Missouri went 12-16, but now the Tigers are 28-6 and Big 12 Champions, just three years later.
> Missouri has played well against ranked teams this season and is 4-1 vs. Top 25 foes, including a 73-64 Senior Night win over then No. 4 Oklahoma.
> That victory over OU gave the Tigers four Top 25 wins this year, which is the most since the 2001-02 club defeated six ranked teams.
> Did you know, Missouri's win over OU was the first time the Sooners had lost with both Blake Griffin and Juan Pattillo active and healthy for a full 40 minutes?
> Mizzou's 12-4 record in Big 12 play is its best in school history ... The last time Missouri had 12+ league wins was during its undefeated Big Eight Championship year of 1993-94.
> The Tigers own 28 wins this season, which is the second most in school history ... Missouri is just one victory shy of tying 1988-89 squad for most wins in a season.
> In fact, Mike Anderson's .646 winning percentage through three seasons (thus far) makes him the winningest coach in Missouri history during that "first three year stretch" ... Quin Snyder is second with a .620 winning clip through his first-three years.
> With his club's resurgence this season, CBS analyst Seth Davis listed Mike Anderson as one of his Top 10 candidates for National Coach of the Year.
> Anderson was also named a finalist for the prestigious Henry Iba National Coach of the Year Award, presented by the U.S. Basketball Writers Association.
> ESPN's Pat Forde named Anderson a finalist for National Coach of the Year.
> Missouri is coming off an undefeated February, which was just its fourth undefeated February in school history ... The Tigers went 6-0 after going 7-0 in February in 1993-94, 6-0 in 1939-40 and 8-0 in 1920-21.
> A huge factor in Missouri's success this season has been its defense and MU has a school record 359 steals through 34 games.
> In fact, Missouri is averaging 10.6 steals per game which is just behind the 1998-99 Nebraska team (10.9) for the most in Big 12 history.
> This season's club is also No. 2 all-time in school history with 18.5 assists per game ... The 1988-89 Tigers are tops with 19.0 dimes ... However Missouri leads the country in assists per game this season.
> This 2008-09 Tiger squad is the first in school history to have 500 assists, 300 steals and 100 blocked shots.
> Another key for the Tigers continues to be the play of their bench ... On the season, Missouri's reserves are averaging 27.8 points per game, which is a school record.
> The catalyst for Missouri's improved scoring punch off the pine is its five player freshman class ... So far this season that group is averaging 20.2 points.
> With those great bench-scoring totals, the Tigers have had a school-record 11 different players reach double figures this season, surpassing the 10 players that reached double figures in 1961-62, 1974-75, 1994-95 and 2007-08.
> It's not just scoring where the Tigers are balanced ... Missouri has 10 different players averaging nearly 10 minutes a game on the year, including five newcomers.
> Sticking with the balance theme, Missouri has had a school-record tying 10 different players dish out at least 20 assists this season ... The 1987-88 Tigers also had 10 players with 20 dimes on the year, which is truly an incredible stat ... Last year's Tiger team, which was one of the most "unselfish" in school history, had eight players accomplish that feat.
> Missouri has had four or more players reach double figures in the same game 14 times already this season and have had six players do it three in the same game, including twice in Big 12 play vs. Colorado and Oklahoma State.
> With that scoring surge, Missouri has topped the 80-point plateau 19 times in 34 games this season and is 18-1 on the year when scoring at least 80 points ... Missouri has topped 80 points 43 times in the Mike Anderson era (95 games) ... To put that scoring in perspective, the Tigers topped 80 points just 37 times (in total 160 games) the five seasons before his arrival.
> One thing Tiger fans are enjoying this season is points off turnovers ... Missouri is forcing 18.9 turnovers per game and is averaging 21.6 points off those opponent miscues each night.
> Missouri is scoring an impressive 30 percent of its points this season off turnovers (21.7-of-81.1).
> Another impressive stat regarding Missouri's defense is that the Tigers force a turnover on 27 percent of their defensive possessions ... That means opponents are turning it over a little more than once every four possessions vs. the Fastest 40 Minutes in Basketball.
Tiger Tidbits (Individual Notes)
> Senior forwards DeMarre Carroll and Leo Lyons were named Preseason All-Big 12 Honorable Mention picks prior to the start of the 2008-09 season, but both enhanced their stock throughout the year ... Carroll was named a First Team choice by the coaches, while Lyons was pegged Third Team.
> Carroll also became the first Missouri player to ever be named First Team All-Big 12 and First Team Academic All-Big 12 in the same season ... To cap off the incredible year, Carroll was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Big 12 Championship.
> Carroll is the only player in the Big 12 to rank among the Top 10 in scoring, rebounding, field goal percentage and steals.
> In league play Carroll saw his scoring/rebounding numbers improve to 17.4 points and 8.1 rebounds per game, thanks to a career high 31 tallies at Iowa State on Feb. 7 and a 18.3 ppg scoring average over his last 15 outings this season.
> Carroll's 8.1 rebounds per game in league action were the most for a Tiger since Arthur Johnson's 9.3 rpg 2002-03.
> The 31 points were the most on the road in a Big 12 game for a Tiger since Clarence Gilbert poured in 40 at Colorado in 2002.
> Carroll also joined Leo Lyons as 30-point scorers this season ... The last Tiger teammates to drop 30 in the same season were Arthur Johnson and Rickey Paulding in 2003-04.
> The last time Missouri had two forwards score 30+ points in the same season was 1984-85 when Derrick Chievous scored 32 vs. Arizona in Hawaii and Malcolm Thomas dropped in 33 vs. Oklahoma at home.
> Carroll has topped 20 points in six of his last 15 outings, including 20 points in the Big 12 Championship Game against Baylor.
> Carroll topped the 1,000-point plateau vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff and now has 1,449 career tallies at the Division I level, 460 of which came during his first two seasons at Vanderbilt ... Lyons has 1,162 career points and became the 38th member of Missouri's 1,000-point club following his career high 30-point night vs. Baylor.
> The ever consistent Carroll has reached double figures in 30-of-34 games this season and either Carroll or Lyons have led Mizzou in scoring 27 times this year.
> Carroll has six double-doubles on the year including three double-dips in his last seven games ... Carroll also has 11 other games this season with either eight or nine rebounds, so he's narrowly missed on a number of other double-doubles opportunities.
> The Junk Yard Dog leads all Big 12 forwards with 54 steals thanks to a career high five thefts vs. Coppin State ... Carroll also ranks among the Big 12's leaders in scoring (6th), steals (6th), field goal percentage (3rd) and rebounding (8th).
> Over his last 37 games Leo Lyons has eight 20-point outings and has reached double figures in 32-of-37 contests.
> Lyons has actually reached double figures in 19 of his last 20 Big 12 regular-season games thanks to his tremendous free throw shooting ... Since the start of Big 12 play Lyons is No. 7 in the Big 12 at the foul line at 81.3 percent.
> The Kansas City, Kan., native enjoyed a memorable night vs. Baylor, as he hit 8-of-11 field goals and 14-of-15 free throws en route to a career high 30 points.
> Matt Lawrence is starting to heat up from the perimeter and has hit multiple three-pointers in 18 of his last 29 outings.
> With that tremendous shooting and solid all-around play, Lawrence was named the Big 12's Sixth Man of the Year by the league coaches.
> In fact, over his last 20 games Lawrence is shooting 46.4 percent from bonus distance, hitting 52-of-112 treys.
> Lawrence has also been shooting it well away from home recently, as the 6-foot-7 sniper is 28-of 56 (.500) from bonus distance in his last eight road/neutral-court games.
> The St. Louis native is already No. 2 in career three-point makes at MU with 236 and is No. 10 all-time for three-point makes in Big 12 history.
> Despite being a prolific shooter, Lawrence has 30 steals, 30 assists and just 14 turnovers on the season.
> Zaire Taylor is Mr. Clutch for the Tigers, with game-winners at No. 16 Texas on Feb. 4 and the game-winner vs. No. 16 Kansas on Feb. 9.
> Taylor hit a driving lay-up at UT and was fouled with 5.5 seconds left and his 10-foot jumper with 1.3 seconds left lifted MU to a 62-60 win over Kansas and was the No. 1 play on ESPN's Top 10 Plays of the Day.
> Taylor has reached the 100 assist plateau this season and needs three more dimes to move into the Missouri single season Top 10, thanks to his 13 assists in three days at the Big 12 Championship.
> Taylor was named to the Big 12 Championship All-Tournament Team after averaging 12.0 points, 4.7 boards and 4.3 dimes in three wins ... He also scored a season high 19 points vs. Oklahoma State in the semifinals.
> His 2.9-to-1 assist/turnover ratio ranks No. 2 in the Big 12 and No. 9 nationally.
> Here's a funny note about Taylor ... He's been named to the All-Rookie Team in two different conferences ... He was named All-Rookie in the Colonial Athletics Association in 2006 as a freshman and was named All-Rookie this year in the Big 12.
> Despite being a slashing/crafty point guard, Taylor has a positive assist/turnover ratio in 29-of-34 games this year and has 7+ assists 11 times on the season, including a season high seven assists vs. K-State and at Colorado.
> Taylor has reached double figures in scoring 10 times this year, including 17 points in that win at No. 16 Texas and ... The Staten Island, N.Y., product also scored 17 points in the win at Georgia and helped lead Mizzou to the home win over Iowa State by scoring 15 points and grabbing five boards.
> Taylor was named the nation's Preseason No. 2 impact transfer in all of college basketball by Rivals.com ... DeMarre Carroll was the preseason No. 1 on that same Rivals.com list last season and didn't disappoint by winning Big 12 Newcomer of the Year honors.
> Junior guard J.T. Tiller became Missouri's first Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year and was a unanimous pick to the All-Defensive Team.
> Tiller shared Defensive P.O.Y. with Kansas' Cole Aldrich, but was also an honorable mention choice to the All-Big 12 team.
> Tiller was named the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year by the Austin American-Statesman.
> Tiller was named the captain of Seth Davis' (CBS & Sports Illustrated) 10th Annual All-Glue Team.
> The Marietta, Ga., native ranks No. 27 nationally with a 2.2 assist/turnover ratio this season.
> Tiller is relentless on defense and turned in one of the great defensive efforts this season vs. Baylor, when he helped hold Curtis Jerrells to a then-season low five points and nine turnovers ... Jerrells entered the game leading the Bears in scoring at 17.4 ppg ... He also helped hold Texas All-American candidate A.J. Abrams to just 11 points, Kansas' Sherron Collins to just nine points and six turnovers and Oklahoma's Willie Warren to just seven points.
> Over his last 12 games Tiller has 57 assists and just 18 turnovers, for an incredible 3.2-to-1 ratio.
> Tiller is one of Mizzou's most well-rounded players and recorded a then-career high six steals vs. Xavier ... The six thefts tied a Puerto Rico Tip-Off tournament record and is No. 7 in Missouri single-game school history.
> Tiller later moved to No. 2 on that list with seven steals vs. Texas Tech, which equals Rickey Paulding for the most ever by a Tiger in a Big 12 game.
> Of Tiller's 23 career double-figure scoring games, 12 have come either on the road or on a neutral-court site, including 4-of-8 road games this season, counting a season high 15 points and seven rebounds at Oklahoma State and 10 points and five assists at Texas.
> Missouri Basketball is coming off a busy, but productive summer that saw all-13 Tigers remain on campus for workouts and classes ... Some members of the squad also had internships in town, including Tiller, who spent the summer as an intern at AFLAC.
> Perhaps the biggest improvement for Missouri this year is the play of its bench and that bench is being led by a host of young players.
> Sophomore forward Justin Safford is making a late-season surge and scored a career high 15 points at Texas A&M on 4-of-4 three-point shooting ... Safford also grabbed three boards in a career high 21 minutes vs. the Aggies.
> The Bloomington, Ill., native opened that week with six points and three boards vs. Oklahoma, before chipping in seven tallies in the Big 12 Championship quarterfinals against Texas Tech.
> Over his last five games Safford is averaging a much-improved 6.4 points on 7-of-9 three-point shooting (.778).
> Freshman guard Marcus Denmon opened his Missouri career with 15 points on 5-of-8 shooting in the Tiger win over Prairie View A&M on Nov. 15 ... That was the highest scoring effort by a Tiger freshman in a debut since Kelly Thames scored 19 against Central Missouri State on Nov. 27, 1993.
> His 16 points vs. Iowa State was a career high for the KC native and he followed that up with 14 tallies in the win over Texas Tech, 11 of which came in the final 20 minutes.
> Did you know that in his first game at Mizzou Arena Denmon actually cheered AGAINST Missouri? But you can't blame him, his brother Martane Freeman was playing for the Colorado Buffaloes, so we'll let that one slide.
> Freshman newcomer Kimmie English knows Mizzou Arena just about as well as the Arena managers and operators ... English made news this summer for sleeping overnight in the team's locker room and will often shoot in the club's 24-Hour practice gym in the early-morning hours.
> The dedication is paying off for English, started 13 consecutive games (before going to the bench on Senior Night) and scored a career high 16 points vs. California in the Tiger's big win, before chipping in 16 more in the win at Iowa State.
> English has reached double figures three times in Big 12 play, including those 16 tallies at Iowa State where he tossed in 4-of-5 treys, while adding four assists.
> Junior Keith Ramsey has played improved basketball over the past few weeks, especially on the defensive end en route to earning five starts in league play.
> Ramsey provided Missouri with a huge lift off the bench vs. Nebraska, blocking three shots vs. the Cornhuskers, while grabbing four boards and coming up with a steal.
> Ramsey scored 10 points vs. Iowa State, which included 2-of-2 shooting from three-point range, before registering a career high 12 tallies at Oklahoma State.
> For his efforts against Oklahoma State and Texas Tech, Ramsey was named the Big 12's Newcomer of the Week on Jan. 26.
> Ramsey ignited Missouri's road win at Georgia, with a pair of blocked shots, two assists, two steals and four points.
> Laurence Bowers, another of Missouri's exciting freshmen, scored a career high 16 points in the win over Colorado.
> Bowers hit a Missouri season-best 7-of-8 field goals, while dishing two assists, ripping two steals and blocking a shot.
> Bowers tied that career high with 16 points on 7-of-9 shooting vs. Kansas State in just 15 minutes ... He also added six boards and a blocked shot in the Tiger win.
> Bowers ranks among Missouri's leaders in dunks this season (9), including a pair of alley-oop slams vs. Coppin State ... Bowers' second dunk was listed #1 on ESPN's Top 10 Plays of the Day on Jan. 6 ... We recommend you check it out ... Note that Bowers is right-handed, but caught the pass with his left hand and then flushed it all in the same motion.
About The Cornell Big Red
Cornell (21-9, 11-3 Ivy) enters the 2009 NCAA Tournament on a two-game winning streak and having won four of its last five games ... The Big Red won the Ivy League's regular-season crown to take the conference's automatic bid ... Ryan Wittman (18.5) paces the Big Red in scoring and three-point makes (93) this year ...The 6-foot-6 junior is shooting treys at a 42 percent clip and paces a solid offensive unit that averages a league best 74.1 points per game ... Louis Dale is a Birmingham, Ala., native and an excellent point guard ... Dale is tied for the team lead with 80 assists and has swiped a team-leading 28 steals to go with his 13.5 points per game ... The Big Red also has some size inside, paced by 7-footer Jeff Foote ... Foote averages 11.8 points and 7.1 rebounds per game ... He also has 64 blocked shots.
Mizzou Back In The Big Dance
The Missouri Tigers (28-6 overall) will make its first NCAA Tournament appearance under third-year Coach Mike Anderson - and the 22nd all-time for the school - when they travel to Boise, Idaho, for a March 20th First-round game with Cornell (21-9).
> Missouri will carry the #3 seed in the West Region, while Cornell will look to defend the region's #14 seed ... Game time between the Tigers and Big Red will be approximately 30 minutes after the conclusion of Friday's first game between Marquette and Utah State, which is scheduled to begin at 10:30 a.m. Boise (Mountain) time, 11:30 a.m. Columbia (Central) time ... Allowing for a two-hour first game, that puts the tentative start time for Mizzou's game at 2 p.m. central time.
> Mizzou's appearance in the Big Dance is the first for the Tigers since they went 1-1 in 2003 - winning a last-second affair against Southern Illinois and losing an overtime heartbreaker to Marquette, a potential second-round opponent for Mizzou this year.
> The five-year period between NCAA appearances marks the longest drought for Mizzou since it went without a tournament invite from 1945-75 - a span of 31 tournaments ... Since then, the previous long dry spell for the Tiger program was a three-year drought from 1996-98.
#3-Seed Is Highest Since 1994
Thanks to Mizzou's 28-6 record and strong stretch run, which saw the Tigers win 13 of their last 15 games, MU was awarded a #3 seed in the West Regional ... That marks the highest NCAA Tournament seed for Mizzou since the 1994 Tigers went 14-0 in the old Big Eight Conference, and earned the school's only #1 seed ever (West Regional).
> In fact, there have been only three times in all when the Tigers have been awarded a seed higher than this year's seed - 1994 (#1 - West), 1983 (#2 - Midwest) and 1982 (#2 - Midwest).
> This will mark the third time that Mizzou has taken a #3 seed into the NCAA Tournament ... The other two occasions include 1990 (#3 - Southeast) and 1989 (#3 - Midwest) ... The Tigers are 2-2 alltime as a #3 seed, reaching the Sweet 16 in 1989 with wins over #14 Creighton (85-69) and #11 Texas (108-89) in Dallas, Texas, followed by a loss to #2 Syracuse (83-80) in Minneapolis, Minn, followed by a 74-71 upset loss in the 1990 1st-round to Northern Iowa, held in Richmond, Va.
Tigers vs. the Field
Mizzou is a solid 8-4 during the 2008-09 season against 10 different teams which have reached the 2009 NCAA Tournament ... The Tigers have faced three teams who they find in their same West Regional bracket, going 2-1 against them - beating California and Chattanooga, while losing at Texas A&M. Here's a quick rundown of MU's results this year against the field...
Team Region MU Record
#2 Oklahoma South 1-0
#3 Kansas Midwest 1-1
#4 Xavier East 0-1
#5 Illinois South 0-1
#7 California West 1-0
#7 Texas East 1-0
#8 Oklahoma State East 2-0
#9 Texas A&M West 0-1
#10 USC Midwest 1-0
#16 Chattanooga West 1-0
Final Four Predictors?
We'll have to wait and see just how popular of a pick that Mizzou is for the Final Four among national prognosticators ... If they don't pick the Tigers, shrewd observers of history might want to take note of who the Tigers are playing, however.
> That's because six of the last seven teams who have beaten MU in the NCAA Tournament have gone on to reach the Final Four ... Those include Arizona in 1994, UCLA in 1995, North Carolina in 2000, Duke in 2001, Oklahoma in 2002 and Marquette in 2003. UCLA and Duke both went on to win the national title after downing the Tigers.
> The only time during that stretch where Mizzou's conqueror did not advance to the Final Four was in 1999, when New Mexico downed the Tigers in what ultimately was Coach Norm Stewart's final game of his legendary career ... The Lobos lost to #1-seeded and eventual national champ UConn in their next game, so through a Kevin Bacon-six-degrees-of-separation deal, you could say that MU was still involved in the mix!
Mike Anderson in the NCAA Tournament
Mizzou's Mike Anderson will be making his fourth NCAA Tournament appearance as a head coach ... All three of his previous appearances came in consecutive fashion at Alabama-Birmingham from 2004-06, when the Blazers went a combined 3-3 in those outings.
> Anderson also made 15 other NCAA Tournament appearances as a longtime assistant coach for the legendary Nolan Richardson - 13 at Arkansas and two at Tulsa ... Anderson's record in those games under Richardson was a sterling 26-14, giving him a combined 29-17 all-time record as a head or assistant coach in the NCAA Tournament.
Here's a quick breakdown of Anderson's NCAA experience as a head coach:
Year Opponent Location Result
2006 #8 Kentucky Philadelphia L, 69-64
2005 #6 LSU Boise, Idaho W, 82-68
2005 #3 Arizona Boise, Idaho L, 85-63
2004 #8 Wash. Columbus, Ohio W, 102-100
2004 #1 Kentucky Columbus, Ohio W, 76-75
2004 #4 Kansas St. Louis, Mo. L, 100-74
> In 2004, UAB reached the Sweet 16 as the #9 seed in the Midwest Regional, thanks to a thrilling 102-100 first-round win over Washington and an equally exciting 76-75 win over #1 Kentucky in the second round (both games were played in Columbus, Ohio). The Blazers' Cinderella run was ended in the next game by #4 seed Kansas (100-74, in St. Louis, Mo.).
> In 2005, the Blazers were the #11 seed in the Midwest Regional, and knocked off #6 LSU in an 82-68 upset in Boise, Idaho, followed by an 85-63 loss in the 2nd round to #3-seeded Arizona.
> In 2006, UAB was a #9 seed in the East Regional, and dropped a tight one in its tournament opener to #8-seeded Kentucky, 69-64, in Philadelphia, Pa.
> Of course, Anderson was an assistant coach at Arkansas under the legendary Nolan Richardson from 1986-2002, and the Razorbacks went to 13 NCAA tournaments in 17 seasons, going 26-12 in all ... Included in that amazing win total were three Final Four appearances, as Arkansas won the 1994 National Championship, and finished as 1995 National Runner-Ups, while also reaching the 1990 Final Four. Arkansas also reached the Elite Eight in 1991 and the Sweet 16 in 1993 and 1996.
> Prior to Arkansas, Anderson was also an assistant with Richardson at Tulsa, where they went 0-2 in 1984 and 1985 appearances, losing in '84 in the Mideast 2nd round (after receiving a 1st-round bye) as the #4 seed to #5 Louisville, 69-67, in Anderson's hometown of Birmingham, Ala. ... In 1985, Tulsa was a #6 seed in the West Regional, and was upset in the opening round out in Albuquerque, N.M., 79-75, by Texas-El Paso.
Strong Boise Ties For Anderson
If any Tiger fans are having trouble finding their way around the city of Boise, they might want to call Mizzou Head Coach Mike Anderson, because he likely knows his way around the town better than any non-Boise native in the world.
> Amazingly, Anderson's appearance in the Boise Regional will mark the fourth straight time that he's played there when the city has hosted NCAA Tournament action ... Each of the three previous times Boise has played host to the Big Dance, Anderson has been there - in 2005 as head coach of Alabama-Birmingham, and in 2001 and 1998 as an assistant coach at Arkansas.
> Anderson stands 2-3 all-time in those previous outings in Boise, including 1-1 at UAB, and 1-2 at Arkansas ... Additionally, current Tiger Assistant Coach T.J. Cleveland will be making his third trip to Boise, as he was a player on the 2001 Arkansas team, and was on Anderson's staff at UAB as video coordinator when the Blazers appeared there in 2005 ... Fellow Tiger Assistant Coach Matt Zimmerman was also part of Anderson's UAB staff in 2005.
Mike Anderson At Boise Regional
2009 - #3 Mizzou - vs. #14 Cornell
2005 - #11 UAB - def. #6 LSU (82-68), lost to #3 Arizona (85-63)
2001 - #7 Arkansas - lost to #10 Georgetown (63-61)
1998 - #6 Arkansas - def. #11 Nebraska (74-65), lost to #3 Utah (75-69)
Yes, Mizzou Has Played In Boise Before
Re-hashing this is like pulling off a band-aid - do it quick and get it over with.
> Yes, Mizzou has played in the NCAA Tournament before in Boise, Idaho.
> Yes, the Tigers lost in one of the single-most memorable moments in NCAA Tournament history, thanks in large part to our friends at CBS Sports refusing to let it die.
> The play was the Tyus Edney play in 1995, when the #8-seed Tigers held a 74-73 lead over #1-seed UCLA in the 2nd-round of the West Regional, only to see Edney take an inbounds pass with 4.8 seconds left, drive the length of the floor and flip in a shot to beat the buzzer over the outstretch arms of Derek Grimm for an improbable 75-74 Bruins win. That shot kept UCLA alive, and they eventually went on to claim the national title.
> Prior to that game, which will live in infamy, the Tigers won a 65-60 slugfest with #9-seed Indiana to open the tournament ... That game was more well-known for its post-game happenings, as Hoosier Coach Bob Knight garnered attention for the proceedings of the media conference after the Tiger win.
Tigers Bring Home Big 12 Championship
Mike Anderson made good on his championship promise, as the Tigers raced to three wins in three days to claim the school's first-ever Big 12 Championship ... Missouri topped Texas Tech, Oklahoma State and Baylor in successive fashion, highlighted by a 67-59 win over OSU in the semifinals.
> The tournament championship was Missouri's 13th all-time, joining the six Big Eight Postseason crowns and six Big Eight / Big Seven Holiday Tournament titles.
> Prior to Missouri's league championship on March 14th, MU's last league crown came in 1994 after a 14-0 undefeated run through the Big Eight Conference.
Carroll, Taylor Earn More Big 12 Honors
DeMarre Carroll (Most Outstanding) and Zaire Taylor were named to the Big 12 Championship All-Tournament squads this past week after leading MU to their first Big 12 crown.
> Carroll averaged 14.3 points and 7.0 rebounds, including 20 points in the title game to earn Most Outstanding Player honors.
> Taylor was perhaps Missouri's most consistent and well-rounded performer, averaging 12.0 points, 4.7 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 1.3 blocks ... He also scored a career high 19 points against Oklahoma State in the semifinals.
Carroll Needs 11 Points For 1,000 at MU
He reached 1,000 career points earlier this year, but senior forward DeMarre Carroll is just 11 points shy of reaching 1,000 tallies for his Missouri career.
> Carroll has 989 career points in two seasons (66 games) with MU and would become the first Tiger since Byron Irvin (1987-89) to reach 1,000 career tallies in just two seasons ... In fact, Irvin, Malcolm Thomas (1983-85), Willie Smith (1974-76) and Derrick Chievous (1984-86) are the only players in Missouri history to reach 1,000 career points in their first-two seasons.
> For his career, Carroll has 1,449 points, which covers his first-two years at Vanderbilt.
Tigers Protecting the Rock in the Second Half
It's one of the great mysteries of college basketball, how can a team that plays as fast as Mizzou, take care of the basketball so well? Missouri ranks among the nation's leaders in scoring, assists and steals, but averages just 12.4 turnovers per game on the season.
> Those 12.4 turnovers are the fewest in school history and Missouri's last 12 games have been even better, as MU is averaging just 11.1 miscues, including a miniscule 4.3 turnovers in the second half alone.
> During the Tiger's Big 12 Championship run, MU turned the ball over just 3.6 times a game in the second half, while averaging 44.0 points on 10.3 assists.
Ziggy Can Score Too
News Flash, Zaire Taylor is a scorer ... After reaching double figures just six times in the season's first 28 games, Taylor is averaging 12.2 points over his last six games, including four contests in double-figures.
> Taylor opened Big 12 Tourney play with eight points, seven assists and seven boards against Texas Tech, before chipping in a season high 19 points, two assists and two steals in the win against Oklahoma State ... His nine points, four assists and five rebounds vs. Baylor in the title game earned him a spot on the Big 12 Championship All-Tournament Team, as he enjoyed tourney averages of 12.0 points, 4.7 boards 4.3 assists and 1.3 blocks.
> Heading into the tourney Taylor was averaging 6.0 points, 2.9 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game.