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Rock M Roundtable!



1 - What's been the most interesting development of Championship Week thus far?

2 - Who wins the Big 12 Tournament this weekend?  Pick your winner, then give me a sleeper.

3 - What's your favorite Mizzou-related Big 12 (or 8) Tournament memory?  Or in Doug's case, Kansas-related memory...

4 - Which mid-major (or lower) tournament do you always find yourself inexplicably drawn to in Championship Week?

5 - What is your typical Sunday Selection Show routine?

Doug: 1 - I guess Cleveland State knocking off Butler last night. That cuts down the number of at-larges for big schools by one since Butler has to get in this year. I think that's been really the only surprise of the mid-major tournaments this year. That and the fact there aren't a lot of mid-major at-large candidates beyond Butler and St. Mary's.

2 - I think Kansas wins and I'll go with Oklahoma State as the sleeper.

3 - The past three championship games between Kansas and Texas have been epic battles featuring some big names, the conference's two best coaches, and some unbelievable performances from both teams. Mario Chalmers pouring in 30 points last year on of 8 of 12 from beyond the arc. The 2007 over-time game after Texas had a 22-point lead in the first half and Durant had 37 for the game. And the 2006 game where KU and Texas basically traded punches until the last 4 minutes when Kansas was able to pull away... by the way, third leading scorer for the Jayhawks that game? Jeff Hawkins (???) with 13.

4 - Aren't they all over now? To tell you the truth, I was disappointed the first round the Big East tournament wasn't on TV yesterday. I would have loved to see DePaul pick up it's first conference win, and watch as Georgetown and Notre Dame's tournament hopes were finally destroyed.

5 - Well, I don't know how I'll adjust this year, because the past three years, I've gone insane watching KU and Texas, been able to take about two deep breaths and then flip over to CBS to watch Billy Packer bitch about the number of mid-majors that made it in. With the Big 12 Championship game on Saturday and with no Billy Packer... I don't know what I'm going to do this year. Tell you this, I'm almost certainly not going to subject myself to the nails-on-a-chalkboard basketball that will surely be the Big Ten Championship.

The Beef: 1 - That it is still not called Championship Fortnight?  Yeah…otherwise I cannot say I care about anything that has happened thus far.  I know Cleveland State cost someone a spot last night…that’s about all I know.

2 - I think kU is the winner and I like how aTm is playing.  4 wins in 4 days is damn near impossible (especially since it would take them through the top 3 seeds in the tourney to get there), but I have been impressed in their last few games and will be curious to see if they can keep it going through this weekend or if they will let down because it is believed by some/most that they have made the tourney (or will perhaps after their game/win tonight over TTech)

3 - I would say having coffee with Achmed and Gary Link very early on Saturday morning following the first epic OU/MU game.  Achmed and I were up early (for various reasons) from our room at the Hyatt in Crowne Plaza or whatever it is called.  We were walking around through the food court VERY early that Saturday morning (like…before 7:00 a.m. early) and a coffee place was open.  We grabbed some food and drink and in our Mizzou garb, sat down to eat.  Link passed us and sat down and chatted with us for a good half hour.  The game the night before had been my first TRUE Big XII Tourney experience.  Friday night…last game of the night.  Big MU crowd.  Huge kU crowd cheering for OU.  Big OSU crowd cheering for MU.  HUGE ISU crowd just drunk and cheering.  MU loses a heartbreaker and Linker’s heart was still quite broken the next morning as he chatted with us.

4 - Would an answer of, "I don’t" get me kicked off of the site?

5 - I watch it…I fill out a bracket….I look at it….I put it down

Doug: Crap... I should've remembered my first Big 12 Tournament and KJHK. Remember, I think it was you and Achmed, Seth, that stopped by and you did an on-air interview with us, since you were working for the MU Athletic Department at the time. Or, some such nonsense. The reality was we were willing to put anybody on air who happened to slow down as they walked by the table.

Michael Atchison: 1 - Butler’s loss is certainly up there, but the carnage on Day One of Big East play was interesting, as it knocked two teams out of consideration.  That league will be interesting today (Wednesday).  If Providence beats DePaul (which they should) and Notre Dame beats West Virginia (which they might) that keeps two more teams in consideration.

2 - I just heard Doug Bell pick a Missouri-Kansas final, which I’m all for, but if I have to guess right or die, I’ll take Oklahoma.  They’ve had some time to right the ship, and they’ll get a game on Thursday to get their legs back under them.  To get their season back to the place it was three weeks ago, they need this.  As for sleepers (and I take that to mean anyone who plays on day one), I’ll take Texas.  They have the easiest path to Friday, with a first round matchup against Colorado and then K-State on day two.  After that comes Kansas, and they went toe-to-toe with the Hawks at Allen just a few days ago.  If Abrams, James and Pittmon are on, the Horns can hang with anyone in the field.

3 - My favorite Mizzou tournament memory is tough.  There’s Lee Coward burying the shot to win it in 1987, and there’s Chris Heller’s monster weekend in 1993.  But I’m going to take 1991, which was bittersweet.  Probation would keep the Tigers out of the NCAA Tournament, so the team looked at the Big 8 bracket as their postseason, and Doug Smith was off-the-charts fantastic in carrying the team to the title.  The Big 12 has provided fewer good memories.  The comeback that fell just short against OU in the championship game was nice, but I’ll take the birth of my daughter at halftime of the Mizzou-OU second round game in 2001.

4 - The Missouri Valley always seems to be a good event, but I think the West Coast conference tournament has been one of the more interesting in recent years, as different schools take turns taking on the league’s 800 pound gorilla, Gonzaga.

5 - I watch the selections on CBS, watch the analysis on ESPN, and spend the rest of the evening in thoughtful repose.

ZouDave: This is like the 2nd time in this calendar year you've lost internet at your house.  Do you live in 1996 and don't realize it?
1 - Honestly, I haven't paid an ounce of attention yet.  I haven't watched even a highlight of basketball since Mizzou's game against aTm this past weekend.  That will change today, but I have no idea what's going on so far.
2 - Oklahoma is your winner, assuming Griffin survives the quarters and semis it becomes a road game for kansas to have to win against a team seeking revenge.  That's a very, very tall order.  For a sleeper, I'll say Oklahoma State because they're a very good team that shoots the ball really well and if they get hot, the crowd will be behind them and that could feed the legs to get them 4 wins in 4 days.
3 - Boy, tough call.  Not sure I can decide between 1991's Big Eight Tourney win over Nebraska in the finals to give Doug Smith a win in his final game and take away the automatic bid for the Big Eight (woot probation!), 1993's impobable victory to put us in the tourney,  or 2003's semi-final victory over kansas and our near HUGE upset over Oklahoma after being down like 41-19 at the half and then losing the game 49-47.  I don't remember what the exact half-time score was, I just know we were getting smoked and almost pulled it off.
4 - If any, The Valley.  But honestly, I rarely watch any of them.  I don't know why.
5 - I usually sit there with a pre-made empty bracket and fill it in as I go, and then I immediately fill it out really without thinking just to keep that as a reference point to what I end up actually picking.  Nothing really special, though, and I've had a few years recently where I didn't even watch it.

The Boy: No, I live in the world of Mediacom.  That's all that needs to be said.

1 - As far as how it impacts the field, I'd have to say Cleveland State winning, as it erased a bubble spot (which I'm completely cool with, since there are about 8 teams in right now that don't really deserve it).  Otherwise, the biggest development is simply that it's time for the mid-majors to get rolling...53 games tomorrow!!!!

2 - I just do not trust OU.  They looked great for a 2-3 week span, and otherwise they've just been good, not great.  I don't trust that their guard play is going to come through.  I think KU is the clear favorite, especially since they got a hiccup out of the way last week.  If they have to play Texas in the semis, though, it could be very interesting.

3 - I do remember watching the 1991 tourney on TV and both a) loving Doug Smith for coming back that season and finishing on a high note despite probation, and b) feeling MAJOR pain knowing that team wouldn't be in the NCAA tourney.  But sadly, my biggest memory has to be the game Beefy mentioned...that epic OT loss to Oklahoma in 2000.  We lost to OU in the postseason four straight years ('00-'03), and while the '02 Elite Eight loss was the most costly, the '00 OT loss was the only time where I actually had to leave my dwelling for a bit...I just walked around campus in snow and shortsleeves because I was fuming too badly and couldn't contain myself.  The Sports God yanked Gilbert's 3 out of the basket with about 2-3 seconds was about 90% down and then rattled out.

The '03 loss to OU was actually quite enjoyable the way it played out, with a dead-legged Mizzou team (4th game in four days) falling behind 46-24 with 15:00 left and then going on a 23-2 run and getting a WIDE-OPEN look from Ricky Clemons to take the lead with 20 seconds left, only it rimmed out (something about cursed rims against OU in the Big 12's), and OU held on for a 49-47 win after Rickey Paulding missed a runner at the buzzer...

Hmm...come to think of it, I don't know how I could possibly think we might beat OU in the semis this weekend (if we get there).  This decade has been very cruel to MU when it comes to playing OU in the Big 12s...

4 - I do always love watching the America East final first thing Saturday morning of the final weekend.  Otherwise, I always enjoy the Summit and Horizon leagues...always some good teams coming out of there.

And seriously...

"Would an answer of, "I don’t" get me kicked off of the site?"

How are we friends??  That cuts me deep.  We both love sports, but we both love COMPLETELY different things.  It's like a friend of mine who's a big music fan...we both love exactly the same bands (My Morning Jacket, Dave Matthews Band, etc.), but all his favorite songs are all my least favorite songs, and vice versa.

5 - A very intricate process.  Finish my final bracket about 5 minutes before the show after agonizing over the last two at-large bids for way too long, call a friend of mine with the official picks, watch the show, hurl my remote at the heads of Billy Packer ("No way should random mid-major team have gotten in") and Dicky V (in tears, shouting "No way should random ACC team have been left out!  It's a travesty!  It's an injustice baby!"), bitch about a mid-major team that got left out, talk to about three friends on TV, and (in recent years) look at the NIT bracket when it comes out and get annoyed that Mizzou didn't even make the NIT.  Guess I can cross the NIT and Billy Packer off the list...though as long as Jay Bilas (a.k.a. Billy Packer Jr.) is on air, Billy Packer's really never gone...

The Beef:

"watch the show, hurl my remote at the heads of Billy Packer ("No way should random mid-major team have gotten in") and Dicky V (in tears, shouting "No way should random ACC team have been left out!  It's a travesty!  It's an injustice baby!"), bitch about a mid-major team that got left out,"

My God man…ever heard of a mute button?  You just bring the angst on yourself for fun?

And yes…I was AT the Valley Tournament this past weekend (Semis on Saturday) and came away less than impressed.  Bad week at work this week has cost me the chance to watch hoops the past three days…but honestly, I would have chosen 24 over hoops on Monday night even if I had been home J.  And I would  (and still will to some extent) watch a lot of hoops this weekend, but St. Pat’s weekend will trump it.  Three-pin bowling will be EHHHHHHHHHHHHHHPIC.

The Boy:

Yeah, the MVC is pretty down this year...Creighton was the only team I was impressed with before the tourney, and they looked awful...

The Beef: Osiris with the mo-hawk (on Saturday) was bombing for Illinois State…and I guess he came real close to winning it for them on Sunday….but the excitement of that tourney is evidently down a good bit from where it was 3-5 years ago

The Boy: I'm not sure how it's happened, but the success of a few years ago seems to have led to MASSIVE parity there.  One team (SIU) is on top, then sinks to the team is on bottom (Drake), then rises to the top, then sinks to the bottom.  Wichita State has fallen off, as has SMS, oops, Missouri State...all of the other teams are up and down.  Only Creighton is consistent, but even they're not great.  And as you mentioned...aside from that second half of the ISU-NIU game, the games were pretty painful to watch, even on TV...

rptgwb: Hammering this out in class before I leave for OKC...

1. That I haven't watched any of it. And, no, I'm not proud of it.

2. Even though I took Oklahoma in the podcast to force the coin flip, I think Kansas is the best team. The sleeper is the winner of the Texas/Kansas State game, if we can count the 4 and 5 seeds as sleepers.

3. Honestly, my mind is almost vacant of any and all championship week moments. I'm at a loss. The only championship moment I can recall from ANY conference was Gerry McNamara going off a few years back.

4. The SEC. Zing!

5. Watch show. Fill out bracket. Eat dinner. Wish it was football season. This season ought to be different, though.

Michael Atchison: I may be way late to the party here, but has anyone seen Brittney Griner, who has signed to play for Baylor next year?

There was a brief story about her in the KC Star this morning.

The Beef: I applaud her for not going to the McD’s game because she would not be able to miss school.

And she is a BEAST.  I mean…Paris at OU is a beast…so I guess Griner is a TURBO BEAST

The Boy: Naturally, I googled "Turbo Beast", and this is all I came up with...

Ridiculous Matt: Here is my contribution to this roundtable:

I think that speaks for itself.