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Mizzou 25: Elite Eight!

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UPDATE: 93 votes are in, and Anthony Peeler wins another one. I would have guessed that he'd lose each of the last two matchups (to Doug Smith on resume, to Melvin Booker on sentiment), but instead Peeler is the first member of the Mizzou 25 Final Four.

It's Elite Eight time for Mizzou 25, the tournament to decide the best, most influential, most likable Mizzou athlete of the past 25 years!

Mizzou 25 has been set up in four 8-athlete regions: the Norm Stewart Region (basketball), the Larry Smith Region (football), the Joann Rutherford Region (all sports), and the Harold "Spider" Burke Region (fan favorites). To see where the bracket currently stands, click here. We are to the regional finals!

Here are your Elite Eight matchups:

3/24: Melvin Booker vs Anthony Peeler (Norm Stewart Region)
3/25: Brad Smith vs Chase Daniel (Larry Smith Region)
3/26: Ben Askren vs Lindsey Hunter (Joann Rutherford Region)
3/27: Pig Brown vs Demontie Cross (Harold "Spider" Burke Region)

We should really rack up the vote totals for these matchups, so be sure to pass this along to whoever may be interested. That said...let's begin!

Melvin Booker vs Anthony Peeler

vs

1990-94

1988-92

Stats
90-91: 8.3 PPG, 3.5 APG, 2.2 RPG
91-92: 11.6 PPG, 3.9 APG, 3.8 RPG
92-93: 15.8 PPG, 3.7 APG, 4.3 RPG
93-94: 18.1 PPG, 4.5 APG, 3.8 RPG
Record: 87-37
NCAA Tourney Wins: 4

Stats
88-89: 10.1 PPG, 3.7 RPG, 2.8 APG
89-90: 16.8 PPG, 5.4 RPG, 5.8 APG
90-91: 19.4 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 5.0 APG
91-92: 23.4 PPG, 5.5 RPG, 3.9 APG
Record: 96-33
NCAA Tourney Wins: 3

Michael Atchison: Little fanfare accompanied Melvin Booker’s arrival in Columbia. Norm Stewart discovered the unassuming point guard from Moss Point, Mississippi, while recruiting a more heralded peer. Good thing he did, because Booker spent the next four years maximizing his ability as well as any player in the Stewart era. A starter as a freshman, Booker deferred to Doug Smith and Anthony Peeler on the court. But he began to come into his own as a sophomore, averaging 11.6 points and 3.9 assists. With Peeler’s departure after the 1991-92 season, Booker assumed leadership of the team. His 15.8 points per game led the club in his All-Big Eight junior season. But it was Booker’s remarkable senior season that sealed his place among Mizzou’s all-time greats. His averages of 18.1 points and 4.5 assists per game do not begin to tell the story. On his way to becoming the Big Eight Player of the Year and a second team All-American, Melvin Booker imposed his will on each game, hitting every clutch shot in a season that saw the Tigers go a perfect 14-0 in the Big Eight and advance to within one game of the Final Four. Though his career began in virtual anonymity, it ended with Booker ranking among the greats in Missouri Tiger history. Michael Atchison: Perhaps the most dizzying all-around talent ever to play at Mizzou, Anthony Peeler could slash, pass, score and defend the perimeter as well as any Tiger in history. A 6’4" guard from Kansas City’s Paseo High, Peeler was the Big Eight Newcomer of the Year in 1989, as he helped the Tigers reach the NCAA Sweet Sixteen. In his sophomore season, Peeler showed his remarkable versatility, averaging 16.8 points, 5.4 rebounds, 5.8 assists, and 2.0 steals en route to being named first-team All-Big Eight. He also became just the eighth Tiger to score 40 points in a game as he drilled Iowa State for 42, including a perfect 20 for 20 from the free throw line. After he lost the early part of his junior season to academics, Peeler returned and averaged 19.4 points, 6.2 rebounds and 5.0 assists. Peeler was even more dominant as a senior, winning the Big Eight scoring title and Player of the Year honors, and leading a group of young role players to the NCAA Tournament. But the most vivid memory of that season came in a loss, when he scored an electrifying 43 points at Kansas. His 1,970 career points rank him third all-time, and he remains number one in assists (497) and steals (196).