I realize it's Championship Week and Spring Football Week at the moment, but the Links just HAVE to start with Jen Ubrun. Your reigning Big 12 Softball Player of the Week just made a pretty strong case to win the award--in game two of yesterday's doubleheader sweep of Wichita State (Mizzou's now won 14 in a row), all Ubrun did was homer three times for 7 RBIs. Holy moly. She has 13 HR's on the year and is already only six away from the Mizzou single-season record...and conference play hasn't even started yet!
I was going to call it a 'miracle run', but to qualify as a 'run', you have to win more than one game, right? Texas A&M ended the Mizzou women's, uhh, good times in Kansas City with a 65-39 thumping in the Big 12 tourney quarterfinals. But beating OU was still nice. The Missourian says it gives them "momentum" for next year...we'll see...
The Big 12 Men's tournament starts today. This probably won't be very entertaining, but just in case I thought I'd pass along the Live Blog link from Big12Sports.com. Anyway, Mizzou plays for its postseason life tonight at 6pm against Nebraska--an NIT bid become highly unlikely with a loss (and they apparently won't accept a CBI bid). And technically the Missourian is right--Mizzou also has "one last chance to dance." Technically, the P-D is right too--a Mike Anderson team has done the "four wins in four days" thing once before...
He recalled a chilly night at Arrowhead Stadium last fall when Missouri beat Kansas for the Big 12 North football title:
"There were goose bumps going over my skin at that point and time, and I said, ‘You know what? I’m at the right place.’ "
Perhaps it was a matter of saying what the crowd wanted to hear, but Anderson said he wanted to play games regularly in Kansas City at the new Sprint Center. He went beyond that, actually.
"I want to make the Sprint Center our second home," Anderson said.
Anderson assured he was not wed to the in-your-face defensive game plan that MU this season has not been truly equipped to play.
"I’m married to one thing, and that’s winning," Anderson said.
If that means playing man-to-man, so be it. Zone? Sure.
"When you can’t guard nobody, you go to a zone," Anderson said.
There was more. Much more. Mike Anderson made ‘em laugh. He made ‘em sit up and listen.
"Trust me, we’re going to make it happen for you guys," Anderson vowed. "Life’s going to get a whole lot better.
"Tiger basketball will be there. It will be there."
I almost coughed out my coffee at the part in the article where Anderson says we'd have won 5-6 more games if Zaire Taylor had been allowed to play...maybe he's right, but uhh...we'll see about that next year...and either way, he's showing a commitment there that sort of negates any chance of anything becoming of the fact that he's apparently on LSU's B-list...
Okay, football. Dave Matter has a nice article on the Mizzou Defense and its potential for improvement, while Gabe Dearmond talks about the biggest challenge for this year's team: replacing the leadership void. Sounds like more than enough candidates are stepping up. And finally, two more PowerMizzou links: a mailbag, and a "Plenty to Prove" article.