I have not written about Missouri Tiger basketball all season. Perhaps that is why they are doing so well. Or not.
Anyway, they are one of only eight teams left standing in the NCAA national tournament. Hats off to them!
As an aside, I really despise the term 'Elite Eight'. When I first began watching the tournament there was the Sweet 16 and the Final Four. Both of these terms mark the end of a four-day period, ending on Sunday, that sets the field for the next weekend. They are the 5 o'clock whistle that signals a 3-day break for body, mind and heart. However, somewhere along the way, and after CBS got it's exclusive hands on the tournament broadcasts, Elite Eight emerged as the name for the 15 hours or so after the Sweet 16 gets to eight teams and before the games to set the Final Four start. We sleep through most of this stage. It is obviously a contrived name. I blame Jim Nantz.
What I want to know is why they forgot the halfway point between The Field of 64 and the Sweet 16? What about The Thumping 32? Or The Thundering 32? The Titillating 32? The 32 Throwdown!! Remember, you read them here first. And they are contrived. And they are horrible. And awkward.
Where was I? Ah, yes, Mizzou is in the Ethereal Eight and will face Connecticut today. This team scares me, but the truth is, they all do. When you are down to the Electric Eight teams, they are all good. When get to the Eclectic Eight, it's tough! Only the best teams get to the Effervescent Eight!
In all seriousness, though, I think Mizzou can beat anyone left in the tourney. Of course, they could lose anywhere along the way, too. But I don't think the Tigers are a fluke. I don't see them getting much press, and that's OK, but don't go to sleep on this team. They could still have a few games left.
Finally, I was very glad to see that Alabama hired a coach and thereby took a vacancy off the table that may have had some attraction for Mizzou's Mike Anderson. He has done a great job and I think the team will get better as time goes on and it would be a shame to let him get away. I would anticipate a raise forthcoming for Coach Anderson when this season is done.