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Mizzou 25: Elite Eight!

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UPDATE: Called after 86 votes. Lindsey put up a good fight, but Askren's basically unstoppable.

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)

Today, it's the best wrestler in Mizzou history against the best volleyball player in Mizzou history.

Ben Askren vs Lindsey Hunter




The Boy: Everything Chase Daniel is to the Mizzou Football team, Ben Askren was to Mizzou Wrestling. He's easily the best wrestler in Mizzou history, and one of the nation’s best wrestlers of the decade. All he did was win the last 87 matches of his career. He’s a two-time national champion at 174 pounds (and two-time national wrestler of the year) for a school devoid of many titles, and only OSU’s Chris Pendleton prevented him from being a four-time national champion.

During a redshirt season at Mizzou that was encouraging but did not come close to preparing Mizzou fans for what laid ahead in his career, he began to develop his own brand of ‘funk’, utilizing his lankiness, creating a wrestling style that continuously put his opponents off-balance, and being good enough at that style to rack up 91 career pins, 3rd-best in NCAA history.

Askren is one of the greatest athletes (possibly the greatest), personalities, and afros in Mizzou history, so much so that he's begun appearing on local commercials endorsing local companies. When's the last time a Mizzou wrestler had that sort of stature?
The Boy: How good was Lindsey Hunter? Not only is the 2005 All-American (and US Volleyball team member) Mizzou's all-time assists leader, but the distance she put between herself and #2 or #3 on the list is staggering. Her 6097 assists is a ridiculous 1143 ahead of #2 on the list and 2285 ahead of #3. Current setter Lei Wang will likely finish #2 all-time...and she may not come within 1000 of Hunter.

The setter has as much or more impact on a team's success than a point guard in basketball or even a QB in football. Hunter spoiled Mizzou fans by making the job look really easy. Her success lies not only in her career assists, but also in Mizzou's unprecedented success during her four-year tenure. In the four years before Hunter arrived at Mizzou, the Tigers averaged 17 wins a year and went 0-2 in the NCAA tourney. The two years after? A 17.5-win average and 1-2 in the tourney. Hunter's four years? 22.5 wins a year, and a 5-4 tourney record, including the exhilarating, dominant 2005 run to the Elite Eight. Hunter was the catalyst for Mizzou's surge as a volleyball power, and the Tigers haven't yet matched her success since her departure.