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PODCAST: The return of the Border War, KenPom rankings and VINDICATION!

Sam and Matt are back with another episode of Dive Cuts, and there is MUCH to discuss — the return of the Border War, conspiracy theories, Ken Pom data, and a little thing we like to call vindication!

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NCAA Basketball: Kentucky at Missouri Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome back to another episode of Dive Cuts with Sam Snelling and Matthew Harris! There’s plenty of Mizzou Hoops news to cover, starting with the revival of the Border War! Mizzou and Kansas are set to renew a great rivalry and that’s good news for everyone, right?!

Sam and Matt also discuss the various rankings that have come out for Mizzou Basketball, and give their opinions on some of the other schools. You can also check out the team previews (and the start of the position previews) on Rock M Nation’s site.

Let’s get to it!

Episode Breakdown:

0:00 – 1:22: Welcome to Dive Cuts! Matt & Sam begin the pod by discussing their addiction to League Pass, which leaves both terrified about not only decreased time management, but also wondering if their wives/fiances will leave them.

1:23 – 4:16: THERE’S BIG NEWS! What’s your excitement level on a scale of 1-1000 for the return of the Border War? The answers may shock you. Matt feels this was inevitable, as both schools will make so much money, and that we are just on a sugar high right now (editor’s note- speak for yourself, sir). The hosts compare the missing rivalry to that of a phantom limb, and anyone who says they don’t care is LYING.

4:17 – 10:09: Digging into details about the 6-year series... Sam loves the site choice and the neutral territory to kick things off in KC. It’s also excellent timing for the students to be there, especially for the home & homes. Both agree that these choices really play into the rivalry’s spirit.

10:10 – 19:06: Conspiracy theories! They’ve got a bunch.

The NCAA must be lurking in the minds of some of the kU schedulers, because if the NCAA lays the hammer down, and least Kansas is still playing Missouri? Another thought- the NCAA levying the sanctions took away some of Bill Self’s power, so Jeff Long could get this done. Listen— we get why kU was originally put-off by Missouri leaving, but come on— they would have done the same thing. The people involved in that strife are mostly gone now and there’s been enough refreshing to relieve the “betrayal” of Missouri. Also, Missouri doesn’t really have an SEC rival, and let’s be honest, the Sunflower Showdown is not a marquee event on the level of Mizzou-Kansas (sorry, K-State). Basically, there’s no logical reason for this game to not be played. Even when Mizzou was... ahem... less than good (bad— they were bad), kU still brought not good teams to Allen Fieldhouse. Imagine, if you will, if Duke-UNC just broke up and stopped playing each other out of spite? That’s just MADNESS. That’s the best hoops rivalry in college basketball, and MU-kU has to be top 3 (maybe 2).

19:07 – 24:16: Examining the odds of seeing Bill Self on the sidelines next year. Why will no one give Sam an answer on this?!? Matt thinks it’d be funny to force Bill Self to coach in a game he’s been so hell-bent on NOT pursuing. Is BS really just mad that Mizzou chose Quin over him? Sam then gets into his extensive thoughts on Bill Self, both as a coach and as a human. Neither Sam nor Matt is rooting against the Kansas players, per see.

24:17 – 26:17: Pivoting back to the timing of the series... Matt loves the mid-December / Saturday stop day / before finals feel of this. Dropping the Border War and Braggin’ Rights within 10-14 days of each other is just cathartic and frankly, genius. There are so many emotions involved in both games that just need to be let out. The timing is also good from the standpoint that teams have worked out their kinks by this point, so we’re likely to see more cohesive basketball.

26:18 – 34:26: VINDICATION!

Sam channels his inner Captain Holt (editor’s note- Sam, I know you hired me and I should support you and I love B99 so much, but that was awful). The Ken Pom rankings have come out, y’all, and Missouri is coming in 39th, 6th in conference, with a 10-8 record (context: LSU is 38th with same record). Sam feels good, you guys. Matt Norlander (CBS sports) put out a 1-353 ranking of all the D-1 teams, and put Missouri.... 82nd? (no). The polls will always have fluctuation. Everyone feels bad for Vandy, and best wishes, Coach Stackhouse. The majority of the SEC falls in the 38-70 ranking, with Bama rounding out the bottom (surprisingly?) in 13th place in the SEC. The team examines their own picks and how they matched up with KP (spoiler alert), and looks a bit more closely at Georgia. Ken Pom has 10 SEC teams slotted within 2 (!!) games of each other, and 5 (!!) of the teams within 15 spots of one another. Looking forward to lots of fluctuation.

34:27 – 37:58: Examining Missouri specifically. Mizzou is projected to be a 7-9 seed, bubble team. Those around the program and/or follow the Tigers closely feel the same way. Slotting them as the 82nd best team in the country or 13th in the SEC is way too low. In the SEC media’s defense, perhaps they are focusing more on football right now, and that explains their terrible analysis? Seriously, how can they be WORSE than they were last year with returning all this production?!?

37:59 – 39:19: An annual reminder from Matt about Ken Pom data— KP does not truly reflect the current season until after the second or third week in December. The algorithm slowly flushes out the old data as the new data comes in, so if you want an accurate picture, check around December 15 when teams have played roughly 9-10 live games.

39:20 – END: Final notes! We are about TWO weeks away from basketball season (editor’s note— I just got nervous and excited. It’s so*close) Thank you for tuning in for another episode of Dive Cuts! Check Matt and Sam out on the twitterverse, and read all of the wonderful content that Rock M has been churning out.

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