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Rock M Roundtable!


1 - In your own personal history with the MU-KU basketball rivalry, where does Monday night's win rank among your favorite moments (on in Doug's case, least-favorite moments)?

2 - The narrative is building that Missouri can actually win the Big 12 this year.  So uhh...can they?

3 - What's KU's ceiling this year?

4 - With Missouri sitting at 21-4 and aiming for a top 4 seed in the NCAA Tournament (KNOCK ON WOOD!!!), now's a good time to much have your perceptions changed regarding Missouri's overall ceiling under Mike Anderson (assuming he doesn't jump to Alabama)?

5 - the Big 12 going to get a 5th team in the NCAA Tournament this year?

Look!  An all-basketball roundtable!


The Beef: 1 - Tough to rate this one since I was not there.  For the ones I was there for, the 1997 game cannot be touched.  Mizzou did nothing that year, and beat one of the best teams I ever saw.  The Clarence Gilbert Affair is right close behind it because that is the only time we handed it to kU in my time here.  1996 was a close third because it was my first game and we won it.  I imagine had I been there, this one would have given #1 a good run for its money

2 - No, I do not believe they can since I do not believe we will beat OU and I do not believe OU will lose 4 other games.  I am all about us winning 4 of our last 6 to close down the season, and while 12-4 would be fantastic and likely a 4-5 seed in the NCAA tourney, I figure it probably lands us at #3 in the Big XII.

3 - Tournament team obviously…probably enough talent to get to the Sweet 16 (though like us to an extent, I wonder what all those youngsters will do on the main stage)…and I am firmly on board with the notion that it would be Self’s greatest coaching job.  Of course, never rule out the early exit J  (Sorry Doug, had to get something in there)

4 - I don’t know that my perceptions have changed because my expectation has been that Missouri should be a tournament team in most years (leaving me quite disappointed for the past half decade).  Unfair?  Perhaps, but that is just where I fall on the matter.  Are we ahead of where I HOPED we would be this year?  Absolutely.  However, one game is not going to change my perceptions.  It just means that Mike Anderson can actually beat kU J

5 - I am thinking…probably.  The mid-majors are not up to where they have been in years past, and with a major conference like the SEC so gawd-awful, a few majors will sneak in where they may not have in the last couple of years.

Doug: 1 - In terms of basketball games this was a tough one to watch, especially for the first 10 minutes. I wasn't able to watch much of the 2nd half, because of work, but to let a team score 46 points in the 2nd half after scoring only 16 in the first is pretty bad. That said, it's not the worst KU-MU game by a long-shot. That honor goes to Clarence Gilbert playing out of his mind (in what I think was Snyder's first year) and hitting everything he put up, including a 3 with Jeff Boschee in his jersey. That was a painful one to stomach.

2 - No. This is Oklahoma's year. They've got a legitimate 1st-team, possible POY in Blake Griffin, a pretty good point guard in Willie Warren and case of good supporting characters. Like Seth said, I don't see a scenario where Oklahoma loses 4 games.

3 - Believe me, a first weekend exit is totally in the cards. Of course, that's what you might expect from a team that lost 7 players off a national championship roster from the year previously. Let's remember Florida couldn't even make it in the tournament last year. I do think the ultimate ceiling is the Sweet 16, with a very outside shot at the Elite 8.

4 - I think Mike Anderson has had a lot of things happen right for him this season. I think Quin Snyder had a similar year during his time at KU. If Anderson is going to change the perception at MU, beyond being able to beat KU finally, he's going to have finish this season strong, then turnaround and continue producing over the next couple of years, too. I think it was after the Elite 8 run as a 12-seed that the wheels fell off for Snyder, no?

5 - If K-State continues playing as they are, then yes, the Big 12 will probably have 5 teams. If Baylor can turn it around, the conference could possibly have 6 teams. It all depends on this final stretch run for everybody and how things are handled by those two teams in particular. I think 5 teams is going to happen and 6 has an outside shot.

The Boy: 1 - I really do wish I were one year older and had been attending Mizzou for the Corey Tate game in '97.  From watching that game on TV in Oklahoma (and almost breaking my hand on my short ceiling leaping into the air as Tate's shot fell), and just from the mythical quality that that game has garnered over the years, that's clearly #1 even though I wasn't there.  #2 is probably the Clarence Gilbert game (since I was an undergrad and MUCH more emotionally unstable about Mizzou athletics, heh), and this is #3.  It was a GREAT win.  I mean, it must have been for me to be completely okay with the students rushing the court.

And for the record, I guess #4 would be my rough recollections of Mizzou's #1 vs #2 win over KU in Lawrence in 1990 (that was my first emotionally good moment for Mizzou basketball...followed by the kick to the junk that was the Northern Iowa NCAA loss), and #5 the Christian Moody game.

2 - I'm just simply not that scared of OU.  Sorry, but 5-point home wins over Colorado don't scare me much.  I think we lose in Lawrence obviously, and it's likely we lose another one too, but I'm not even remotely giving away the OU game.  They're playing not to lose right now, and they're going to get beaten soon.  The worst thing about that game is, it's not tomorrow.  By the time we play them, they'll have lost a game (mark my words), and that will allow them to start playing looser again.

All that, I doubt we win the Big 12.  If nothing else, if we lose to KU, that means we're hoping for a 3-way tie at 13-3.  That suggests OU loses three more (I fully expect them to lose 2, but not 3) and KU loses two more, and that's a lot to ask for...especially since I figure we're due one more slip-up along the way.

Still,'s roughly two-thirds of the way through the Big 12 slate, and people are writing "Missouri can still win the Big 12 title" stories.  How great is that...

3 - They are going to be VERY reliant on matchups in the NCAAs.  They have unbelievable interior defense, but they're turnover-prone, and for every two great things Sherron Collins does, he does one very stupid thing.  I think Sweet 16 is their ceiling, and how possible that is will depend on the draw.  And yes...Bill Self has done one helluva coaching job this year.

4 - The one major question I had with Anderson ("Can this style play in the Big 12?") has been answered.  Yes, we're peaking at a time when UT is down, KU is young (but still dangerous), and there are about 8 decent teams, but only 3-4 actually good ones.  And yes, we'll possibly be worse offensively next year without Lyons and Carroll, but we've still gone up against some good guards who have crushed us in the past--Collins, Byron Eaton, AJ Abrams, Curtis Freaking Jerrells--and done VERY well against them now that we have players who fit the system.  That's very encouraging.  Overall, I do expect us to be an annual tourney team, and I think Mike Anderson can accomplish that.

5 - Boy...I don't know.  I think there's a 33% chance the Big 12 gets 4 teams, 33% they get 5 and 33% they get 6.  Baylor, ATM and KSU are COMPLETE tossups right now (you figure ONE of them will pull it together), and technically NU and maybe OSU can still make a run as well.  I'm going to say the Big 12 gets 5, but...I have NO clue who #5 is right now.  KSU, I guess.

Doug: You would be terrible at setting odds in Las Vegas.

The Boy: Which is why I don't set odds in Las Vegas.

(But for the record, in my lone Vegas trip, I finished the weekend +$10 in my sports bets.  So there!)

Doug: I think I remember this trip diary. How'd you finish on everything else there, gamblin' man?

The Beef: How’d you end up finishing in blackjack?  :-)

The Boy: Depends on how you look at it.  I broke even(ish) for the was just that I STARTED OUT big and then finished with a whimper.  A sad, tearful whimper.

Doug: How does your wife look at it?

The Beef: Nobody closed bigger than our friend MU 1839….who CRUSHED his Sunday parlays to get back even

The Boy: She pretends I never made that trip.

And for the record, I just dug up the diary to make sure there wasn't something I forgot.

There's PLENTY I forgot, I'm sure, but not about gambling...

The Beef: Well played getting that reintroduced to our readership…

Doug: Oh yeah, you two idiots putting your coronary systems through the ringer.

Damn, I can't believe I still didn't make it to In 'n Out the two times I've been to Vegas.

The Boy: And yet we made it twice in 26 hours...

Doug: But you did fall asleep watching "Hangin' With Mr. Cooper" so I'd call it a wash.

The Boy: Coo-ooo-ooo-ooo-OOOOOOOOOOO-PERRRRRR...

The Beef:

Doug: Damn... I need pants like that.

ZouDave: 1 - Tough to say right now, because I need to see the lasting effects of it.  I would say the 1997 game, the 2003 tournament game, and the 1994 games probably still rank higher for me...but this one is pretty damn sweet.
2 - No.  I don't see how they can.  We already have 2 losses, which is 2 more than Oklahoma has and 1 more than kansas.  We'd basically need to beat Oklahoma AND have kansas (or Texas) beat Oklahoma AND we'd pretty much need to beat kansas in lawrence.  I don't see how it's all going to happen.  We're going to end with a great result, but I just really can't see how we win the regular season title.  Big XII Tournament, on the other hand?  I think we can win that, and I think we may do just that.
3 - 1st or 2nd in the conference, maybe 3rd if they fall on bad times.  Probably anywhere from a 3 to 6 seed, a sweet 16 appearance and then they'll run into a better team.  The jayhawks aren't good enough to beat teams that are just truly "better" than they are, not this year at least.
4 - I don't know that I've ever really placed a true ceiling on my expectations for Anderson.  I kind of do that on a year-by-year basis.  I will say we're pretty close to exceeding my expectations for this year, which is great.  But I also have an expectation for us to continue getting better, the same way I expect that out of Coach Pinkel and the football program.  We are not a program incapable of competing at the highest level in college basketball.  We're a long way away from that, and we're even further away from expecting it year to year, but there's just simply no reason that Mike Anderson couldn't have us as a #1 seed sometime in the near future.  What's to stop us?  We have facilities, we have good recruiting bases, we get good national exposure being in the Big XII (and, honestly, being ku's rival) so it can happen.  Expecting it and knowing it's possible are two different things, though.  For this year, let's just get into the NCAA Tournament and then let's not lose a game we shouldn't.  That will make this an A+ of a season.  We'll worry about next year's expectations after we see what we truly did this year.
5 - They could.  There still has to be 65 teams in the tournament, and when it comes down to it our 5th team is very likely more attractive than most conferences' 3rd teams.  If we do get a 5th team in, they're probably looking at a 12 or 11 seed, but I think it will happen.  I still think it's going to be OU, kansas, Missouri and Texas for sure and then we'll see KSU and Baylor slugging it out for 5th.
And I mentioned Coach Pinkel without being prompted to do so...I ruined your all-basketball roundtable.  HA!

Michael Atchison: Late to the party here, so let me answer the questions first and then try to catch up.

1 - That’s a tough question, because in the immediate aftermath, they all seem like the best moment.  I’m going to limit this to games I attended (so 1997’s monumental upset is out, as are 1994 and 2000).  This game was so strange because it wasn’t until the final three minutes that it really seemed possible.  Let me pick the top four that I’ve attended:

   1. 1990: Missouri 95  Kansas 87.  For sheer quality of play, nothing tops the day that the Tigers took the number one ranking from Kansas.
   2. 1987: Missouri 63  Kansas 60.  My first Border War game.  Lee Coward buries a three at the buzzer.  Missouri goes on to win the Big Eight title.
   3. 2009: Missouri 62  Kansas 60.  Still a little hard to believe that happened.
   4. 2006: Missouri 89  Kansas 86 (OT).  Gardner leads the unfathomable comeback.

I’m really not sure that anything in college sports can match the amount of drama that this game has produced in Columbia in the past 25 years.  In that span, there have been at least ten classic or near-classic games.

2 - Can they win it?  Sure.  The problem is that they don’t control their fate.  Not only do they have to take care of their own business, they have to hope that Oklahoma doesn’t take care of its own.  And that probably puts the odds at around 10% or less.

3 - KU’s ceiling is high as long as Aldrich and Collins are in the game.  Styles make fights, and Missouri really is a tough match-up for them, with the Tigers’ ability to wear Aldrich down, and Tiller’s ability to contain Collins.  I don’t think the Jays are a final four team, but it wouldn’t shock me in the slightest to see them advance to the elite eight.  Self has done an outstanding job with this team.

4 - I don’t think my perceptions about Mizzou’s ceiling under Anderson have changed much.  This run has just validated that it’s possible.  Clearly, he’s going to need to recruit some more frontcourt talent, and I think one big time playmaker on the wing would help.  The difference in being a top third team in the Big 12 and an upper echelon team in the country will come down to the kids he brings in over the next three or four years.  And this season gives him something tangible to show them.  Hopefully there’s an offensively skilled juco big man waiting for the pitch right now.

5 - I think the Big 12 probably will get a fifth team this year, but I think it’s close.  It doesn’t look like a good year for multiple bids from mid and low-tier leagues.  I don’t think we’re going to see anything like what we’ve seen from the CAA or the Missouri Valley in recent years.  But they’re still going to have to put 65 teams in the field, and so I think the Big 12 is likely to have a surprise participant.  Texas really stopped the bleeding last night against Oklahoma State.  They’re going to be in.  My only question is whether Nebraska or K-State can get enough done over the next three weeks to secure a bid, because they won’t get any mileage out of their non-con slates.  Baylor, Texas Tech and Oklahoma State are all in the position of having to virtually win-out to make it.

rptgwb: 1. Granted, my personal history is nowhere near as deep, but Monday shoots straight to the top. That was the greatest sporting event I've ever been a part of in person.

2. I think that's a stretch. I think it's highly likely that Missouri not only loses to Kansas and Oklahoma, but drops another along the way. I won't rule out Mizzou getting hot in the Big 12 Tourney, but I think calling for a regular season championship may be just a tad too far out of reach. But I'll certainly settle for a first round bye in the Big 12 Championship.

3. If the Morris twins can step up and take some pressure off Aldrich, Kansas could be an Elite Eight type of basketball team if they get the perfect draw.

4. My perceptions have changed about the ceiling this year, but I'm actually growing more concerned about next year with each passing day. What is this team without Leo and DeMarre? Where does this team get its consistent scoring next year? If Missouri is going to be completely reliant on the perimeter game, there's going to be some issues on a night like Monday where they come out shooting 24 percent from the field.

5. I'm going to guess yes, assuming Kansas State keeps its act together.

(Five hours later...)

Michael Atchison: Is it too late to note a site that seems in tune with Rock M’s gastrological sensibilities?

The Beef: If you only knew how happy you just made The Boy by pimping this site…

Doug: I've seen the turbaconucken... in fact it looks delicious (I'll be dead next week).

But, seriously, a corn dog pizza? Really? Sometimes even American ingenuity needs to slow it the hell down.

The Beef: Well..the ingenuity needs to be stepped up on that one…for God’s sake..take the sticks out and slice up the corn dogs like pepperoni

The Boy: Yeah, that site's been blowing my mind for the last week or so.  The corn dog pizza really was too much to handle.

Doug: I would counter, if you put the corn dogs the other direction, with the sticks point, rather than in, and sticking out from the crust, you would be able to eat the pizza-corn dog concoction on a stick. And, we all know... everything is better on a stick.