I’ve been hurt before, Mizzou.

I’ve lived through a lot of seasons with this men’s basketball team. When I was two years old, I started attending basketball games with my dad. I’ve seen Norm, Quin, and Mike coach the Tigers to a variety of season finishes. I’ve seen Linas Kleiza, Kareem Rush and Wesley Stokes represent my team, among countless others. I’ve seen  Mizzou play the Jayhawks in Mizzou Arena, the Hearnes Center, and, once, I’m not proud to say, Allen Fieldhouse.

And I’ve seen a lot of disappointment in the postseason. Low finishes in the NCAA tournament; several first round finishes in the NIT, and three consecutive seasons where we had no postseason.
So, all I have to ask of the Tigers this Thursday is don’t blow it.

We’re about to face up against a Cincinnati team that averages fewer than 70 points a game and falls in the 164th slot for that statistic. We’re seeded lower than Cincinnati, (and lower than we should be. Five seeding spots and only two losses cover the gap between the two teams...) but we’re a stronger team offensively. As long as Mizzou keeps a level head, has reasonable defense, and doesn’t shoot under 30 percent, we will probably squeak a victory by this Bearcats team.

We’re favored only slightly at 55.7 percent, but I’ve seen much crazier things happen than this victory. Fingers crossed, we’ll take it to the next round.

Key things to watch out for

P. Pressey from the 3-point line:
Either a weapon or, like against KU, a key to our defeat.

Bowers’ and Denmon’s overall points in the game:
Bowers had a pretty great game against KU and hopefully we can rely on him to make it happen again. Likewise for Denmon against A&M.

If we decide to play Kreklow and Moore: I may take some flak for this, but I think Steve Moore helped our team a bit against Kansas. Ricky…maybe not as much.

I’ll table this one under “We’ll see.”