The Big 12 Tournament starts tomorrow, and at most there are only two losses left for any team. This means postseason basketball is here. What do Tiger fans expect, what will they be satisfied with?
By any measurement, any Tiger fan will consider the 2011-2012 season a very successful one. Finishing with the most regular season victories in school history, only four losses, and a top 5 ranking is just a damn good year.
However, any Tiger fan also knows they have no answer for the question "so how many Final Fours has Missouri been in?" For better or worse, postseason results tend to dominate the discussion about whether a season was "good" or not. I don't want to diminish what this team has achieved so far, but there are now some expectations for the postseason tournaments.
The 1989-90 Tigers team won the Big 8 with a 12-2 conference record, including two wins over #1 Kansas. As fun and successful that regular season was, most remember how it ended. The NCAA announced an investigation, Mizzou lost the final game to Notre Dame, lost in the first round Big 8 Tournament game to Colorado, slipped to a #3 seed... and then Northern Iowa happened. One of the best years in Mizzou history left Tiger fans with a bad taste in their mouth.
With that outcome in mind here's what I think:
I think the season is a good season no matter what happens now. That's not to say I won't be disappointed if the Tigers won't win another game, but overall this was a successful season.
That said, I will be very disappointed if the Tigers lose their first game in either the Big 12 or NCAA Tournament. I'll be disappointed if they lose in the semifinals of the Big 12 Tourney or the 2nd round of the NCAAs.
I'll be satisfied with a Big 12 Finals appearance and/or a Sweet 16.
I'll be happy winning the Big 12 Tournament and/or an Elite 8.
I'll be ecstatic with a Final Four.
I may die of happiness with an NCAA Championship.
What do you think?