By Evan Pfaff, Big12Hoops.com Missouri Beat Writer
Thanks to fellow SB Nation bloggers Rock M Nation, I was linked to a Wiz of Odds (via the Washington Post) article talking about the possibility of traditional universities going the way of traditional media. Namely, kaput thanks to the Internet.
Got me thinking that if the traditional university was not to exist in 20 years (and in an Armageddon-esq way, there would be no college hoops) what would I want to see from Mizzou in the years prior to college basketball ceasing to exist?
Easy answer... a Final Four appearance and National Championship.
As most know, and as a rallying cry for every KU fan in the country, no Mizzou team has ever reached the Final Four. There have been plenty of Elite Eights, but the bright lights of the Final Four have always eluded the Tigers. Or, maybe it's always been the other way around.
Getting to a Final Four, and then cutting down the nets, would satisfy a yearning years in the making.
My next wish would be a Tiger winning the John Wooden Award. Now, since Coach Mike Anderson's system isn't catered to giving players enough floor time to get the gaudy numbers needed to win national awards, this is probably less of a possibility than a championship. It could happen, however. Hell, if Utah (Andrew Bogut), St. Joseph's (Jameer Nelson) and UMass (Marcus Camby) can have players win awards within the past 15 years, why not Mizzou? The Tigers have had 20 All-Americans, so having the best player on that squad is the next evolutionary step, right?
In terms of rivalries, I need Mizzou to beat up on border rivals; first in a December match-up against Illannoy, then in a season sweep of the Jayhawks.
Mizzou football can't lose to Illinois... and Mizzou basketball can't beat them. In neither game does it matter who brings more talent or who is favored, the reigning winner of that game always seems to take home the trophy.
This year will mark the 10 year anniversary of the last time Mizzou left St Louis with Braggin' Rights. Back in 1999 Quin Snyder (repeat: Quin FREAKING Snyder) took an undermanned Tiger team into the (then) Kiel Center and came out with a 78-72 victory. Since then Mizzou has had good enough teams to make two Elite Eight runs, but they have never been good enough to topple the Fighting Illini.
Get this stat... since their last W, Mizzou has had as many head coaches (three, counting interim Melvin Watkins) as the building that houses the game has had names (Kiel, SAVVIS, Scottrade).
As for the neighbors to the West, a Mizzou sweep of the Kansas Jayhawks would appease every alumnus, from me (BA ‘99) to Sheryl Crow (BS Ed '84) to Snake Lampert (BS Ed '99). Not since the 14-0 undefeated conference season of 1994 has Mizzou taken both games from the KU. And that was nice, but I want more.
If I don't get to watch Mizzou play hoops anymore, I want the regular season sweep... I also want the two rivals to meet in the conference tournament and for Mizzou to take home a W. I ALSO want to meet in the big dance and HUMILIATE the Jayhawks. Hell, if this is my wish, why not rub it in?
And speaking of rubbing it in... why does CBS rub in the Tyus Edney play during every tournament pregame? If I am making my wish list, I would want a rematch with the Bruins, and one closer than the 82-73 revenge match the Tigers won in the 2002 Sweet 16. I would want the Bruins to hit a shot with little time remaining and one of the fast Mizzou guards to take the ball the length of the court and DUNK on a shell shocked center standing there with hands raised (Are Buck Grimm's feet still stuck to the floor at BSU Pavilion?). A dunk so spectacular that it would "YouTuberize" the Bruin and replace the Edney shot in every tournament montage thereafter.
All of these scenarios are possible; the Tigers just need that extra kick in the rear. And with the history of the recent past, and prospects of the future coming to Columbia, I expect it to happen under Coach Anderson's watch... hopefully within the next 20 years.
Otherwise, I might have to become a fan of the University of Phoenix basketball team.
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