Monday, December 28, 2009

Missouri gets the monkey off its back and shocks the Illini by 13.

As the buzzer went off to end the first half the tigers headed to the locker room with a seven point 41-34 lead over the winners of nine straight in the series Illinois Illini. There was one question and hope that tiger fans had, could the tigers hold on and knock the illini off? Now is where it gets interesting.

Missouri (9-3) never looked back. The Tigers opened the second half not exactly the way they left off in the first half. Missouri let the Illini cut the lead back to four but than pulled away and finally pulled off the win by shocking the Illini with a thirteen 81-68 win.

Freshman Rookie of the Week Mike Dixon, wait what is a Freshman? Is Dixon really a freshman? Sophomore? Junior? He has got to be a senior, isnt he? He sure is a Freshman, but with a ill Zaire Taylor on the bench and J.T Tiller sluggish comng back from his one game suspension this freshman animal played like a senior and made a lot of Missouri fans proud with his career high sixteen points and anxious to see what he will be in a couple years. Sophomore Big twelve player of the week added in twenty six.

The Tigers surprised just about everybody with a 13-point win over Illinois last week. Was the win a turning point for this team or simply a blip on the radar? Not to take the win away from Missouri fans, but this is not the same Illini team that the tigers have seen over the last nine losses. In fact, this is so far the worst start for the illini in 20 years. But even a win over a winless Illinois team would make Missouri fans proud after the last showing against Illinois in the decade. So Missouri must win against remaining non-confrence division one foe Georgia and must win their confrence opener at home against number ten Kansas State in order to gain more respect. After the illini win and a struggling win against Austin Peay the tigers have no votes in the top twenty five. The minute Missouri lost to Richmond they dropped from getting votes and the loss to Vanderbilt and Oral Roberts sure didnt help. So again, dont expect Missouri to get many votes or smell the top twenty five unless Missouri can win out and beat Kansas State.

Missouri has a very tough, if not the toughest Big twelve start in confrence. Opens at home against number ten Kansas State, than will travle back to back games at number twenty two Texas Tech and pre-season ranked Oklahoma is has also been struggling. Bad thing is, unfortunatly the tigers will be underdogs in all three games. An 0-3 start would probably erase all attention and hopes of and NCAA bid. So it's real important that Missouri wins two of the three if not all three.

Missouri is in a rebulding year, but have got to understand that they cannot give up the season yet. With the Illinois win, go out and show the nation that the win was not a fluke and give the confrence a fit. With Mike Anderson's style, do not ever count out the Tigers for winning the Big 12 title again, or even making the Elite Eight again. You never know what your going to get with his style. If the tigers can play up to their style potential, there is no way that Missouri shouldnt make the dance or even win the confrence. It's playing up to their potential is what Missouri has to do.

So Missouri fans, Merry Christmas with the Illinois win. But remember it's not over yet. The confrence opens Next saturday and its a must that the tigers need to be ready for a hot and hungry Kansas State team. Missouri has won the last three home meetings against Kansas State, and one that most Missouri fans remember was in 2008 when the number seventeen team rolled into Columbia with one of the nations best Michael Beasley and sent the wildcats back to manhatten with a loss.

Can the tigers keep it's hopes up?

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