The Big Three All Play Today!
Welcome, friends, to a long, long day of Mizzou sporting events! I hope you are prepared and hydrated, as we are in for a pretty full day. So grab a tasty beverage of your choice, sit by the Christmas tree, and enjoy. There’s a lot in store for fans today.
In order of game time:
WOMEN’S HOOPS, 12pm
First up in Mizzou’s big ol’ day of sports is Robin Pingeton’s squad (10-2), who take on Illinois (5-6) in Champaign on the Big Ten Network + at 12pm. The Illini are coming off a 15 point loss to Southern Illinois on Sunday.
According to ESPN, the Illini are averaging 65.1 ppg, while Missouri is is giving up an average of 60.9. When the Illini score over 61, they are 5-0 on the season, so that will be something to monitor. Missouri is averaging 73.4 ppg, and are 6-1 when they put up at least 67 points. Lauren will have a preview for you later this morning, and you can read Nate Marcus’ now.
While you’re waiting for game time, check out the highlights from Monday night’s 19 point win over Southern!
ARMED FORCES BOWL, 7pm
Mizzou’s bowl game kicks off at 7pm CST, and Ben Fred says that in the context of a bloated, watered-down CFB bowl schedule, Mizzou-Army offers compelling clash. Since the article is for subscribers only — SUPPORT LOCAL JOURNALISM — I’ll only give you a peek:
This bowl season offers games with interim coaches because the head man left early. There are games without offensive and defensive coordinators because they left to become head coaches. There are bowl games without future NFL draft picks because they opted out to dodge injuries before turning pro. There are 20 — yes, 20 — teams in bowl games that have a .500 record, like Mizzou’s.
There is a bunch of well-thought out information like what you just read in the article. Read the article.
So all things considered, the Armed Forces Bowl isn’t so bad once you forget the SEC thinks so little of Mizzou these days it assigned the Tigers a day and time that directly collides with the men’s basketball team’s Braggin’ Rights game. Whoops.
Let’s consider the positives.
Mizzou’s coach has not left for another job. Eli Drinkwitz will be very motivated. A win against Army adds one year to his contract and grows his salary by $100,000 for each year left on his deal. That’s not chump change, even to a guy making $4 million annually.
And it goes on from there, giving many other reasons why this could actually be a compelling bowl game, even without some key players. Read the article, please.
NOTE: Pasted across the top of the site, it says this: From December 19th through December 26th we will be granting free access as a gift to our readers presented by McBride Homes…. So, what are you waiting for?? Read the article.
You can also read Nate’s preview, where he tells us to beat the hell out of the troops, respectively of course.
BRAGGIN RIGHTS, 8pm
One short hour after the bowl game starts, Braggin Rights (with a new title sponsor- McBride Homes) is back, BABYYYYYY, and I’ve got my tickets ready for me and longtime friend/Rock M contributor, Ryan Faller, and our vaxx cards are uploaded. BRING IT ON.
This social media post reminded me to bring up Matt Brolley’s FANTASTIC article in the Missourian, which detailed the history of the match up. Here’s a taste… it’s SO GOOD:
Maybe it’s the neutral site with a crowd for both sides. Maybe it’s the historic basketball programs being competitive. Maybe it’s the endless list of great players and coaches that played and coached in the rivalry.
Or maybe, just maybe, it’s about pride.
The two states have always turned to sports as a way to display pride for their homeland. The St. Louis Cardinals and the Chicago Cubs represent one of the best rivalries in baseball. The St. Louis Blues and Chicago Blackhawks certainly aren’t fans of each other. Even the Chicago White Sox and the Kansas City Royals have a history of not being the best of friends either.
And in college basketball, it is no different. Known as Braggin’ Rights, the name of the rivalry perfectly describes why this annual game is so special.
Always played at the conclusion of both schools’ academic semesters and right before Christmas, hometown family and friends tune in together to watch the game, even if they choose to root for different teams.
And unlike the rivalries in professional sports, there is only one Braggin’ Rights game per season, which makes the 40 minutes of play much more important.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Dave Matter wrote about the immense task for whomever is tasked with guarding Illinois behemoth, Cofi Cockburn. Size-wise, Wilmore appears to match up the best, but his play has been… suspect, and he didn’t see the court in the Utah win. From Martin:
“The biggest key it’s safe to say is you’ve got to match his [Cockburn’s] physicality,” Martin said Tuesday. “You’ve got to make him work for post position, make his catches tough. Instead of catching it deep inside the arc, get him off the block and make him work for his catches. You got to be ready to double him and blitz him in different areas and keep him off balance. But more than that, when he’s at point-blank range he’s hard to stop. Off the block, he likes to shoot those jump hooks. There’s a certain percentage the jump hook goes and it doesn’t, so you’ve got to be ready to block out.
Will Mizzou be able to hold off a surging Illinois squad and take home their fourth consecutive Braggin Rights trophy? We’ll see! While I’d initially say no, I’ve seen weirder things in this rivalry game, so who’s to say what will actually happen? Josh will have a preview up on the site early this morning, so check it out.
Lastly, if this doesn’t warm your cold, black heart this Christmastime, nothing will.
Thank you mom for a wonderful team dinner, it was simply marvelous. Now, we slumber & prepare for battle tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/NuGmvtQhq3— Cuonzo Martin (@CuonzoMartin) December 22, 2021
On to the Links! GOOOOOOOOO TIGERSSSSSSSSSSS!!!
NOTE Y’all, I get to fly out to see my family tomorrow afternoon for the first time in two years… and your girl is flying Spirit Airlines on the way there. My coworkers all laughed at me maniacally when I mentioned the airline. It can’t be THAT bad… Right? So, Christmas Warm Wishes are appreciated.
Yesterday at Rock M… a lot of breaking news, huh?
- Josh, Nate, Levi, Sammy and Parker got together for a special Bowl Game Pregamin.
- Sam covered the breaking news of the Clemson transfer, Joseph Charleston.
- Nate covered the breaking news that Tyler Badie is OUT for the bowl game, thus wrapping up his illustrious career in the black & gold.
- Josh broke the news about Brady Cook, who has earned the start at the Armed Forces Bowl over Connor Bazelak.
- Sam re-upped his December 17 post on everything bowl game related: how to watch, Vegas odds, etc.
- St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Dave Matter covered the Badie Farewell and Brady Cook starting news, as well as the incoming Clemson transfer news, AND gave five things to watch for in tonight’s game.
- KC Star: Lila Bromberg covered Tyler Badie’s draft declaration, as well as five things to know about today’s game.
- Columbia Tribune: Eric Blum wrote about Mizzou’s defense, who is focused on the details to combat Army’s triple-option attack, while Chris Kwiecinski focused on the news that unfortunately, Tyler Badie is out for the bowl game, thus ending his beautiful Mizzou career (my words, not his) and Brady Cook has earned the starting QB nod.
- PowerMizzou: Gabe DeArmond wrote about Mizzou’s newest addition, Clemson safety, Joseph Charleston, and then provided an updated scholarship chart.
- WATCH: The Armed Forces Bowl press conference on MUTigers.com.
- ABC17’s Nathalie Jones shared a highlight reel of Tyler Badie, since he’s done at Mizzou. [weeps uncontrollably]
Watch: #Mizzou (@MizzouFootball) running back Tyler Badie (@showtimeshine5) has officially played his last game in the black and gold.— Nathalie Jones (@NathalieABC17) December 21, 2021
Enjoy a final look at his record-breaking season ⤵️ he's been a fan-favorite all year and it's easy to see why pic.twitter.com/Ep4zazyyBz
- For the seniors.
- The Tribune’s Chris Kwiecinski wrote about Mizzou Men’s Hoops’ steep challenge vs. Illinois to continue Braggin’ Rights streak.
- The KC Star’s Lila Bromberg looked at Kobe Brown’s emergence as a scoring threat for MBB, and how he has evolved.
- Watch this short little video, in which BenFred and Dave Matter discuss HOW the Tigers can beat those pesky Illinis (or it is just Illini? Who knows), and read Dave’s preview.
- The Missourian’s Matt Brolley wrote a truly FANTASTIC post on the history of the Braggin Rights game that you should read immediately. (yes, I linked to it twice)
- MUTigers.com previews for men’s game AND women’s game
Other Mizzou Sports
- Since the year is coming to a close, Dave Matter shared his most memorable stories from 2021.
- A lovely tweet by one of the Tiger Track & Fielders about new AD, Desiree Reed-Francois.
How refreshing has it been to have a new AD at Mizzou. As a student-athlete I have never felt so seen and cared for. We appreciate you @DRFrancois1. You are changing this school and the athletic department for the better. #MIZ— Atina Kamasi (@AtinaKamasi) December 19, 2021
- The Missourian’s Joel Boenitz recapped No. 10 Missouri wrestling’s third place finish in the Collegiate Wrestling Duals after defeating No. 17 Lehigh 26-9 on Tuesday. According to his post, the Tigers (6-2, 4-0 Big 12) won eight of their 10 matches on the day, which included two bonus-point victories from freshmen Keegan O’Toole and Rocky Elam. Way to go, guys! An additional recap is available on MUTigers.com.
- The Missourian’s Anthony Kristensen covered the, um… sizable… anonymous gift to Mizzou Athletics. Before you ask, weirdos, it goes towards a scholarship endowment, NOT paying off Cuonzo.
Former Mizzou Players in the Wild
- Jeremiah Tilmon, starting for the Lakeland Magic, played 32 minutes in the team’s loss to the Santa Cruz Warriors. Tilly had 8 points on 4-8 shooting, with 13 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 turnovers, and 3 fouls.
- DRUUUUUU and the Sioux Falls SkyForce returned to action after a Covid pause. As of (checks watch) 12:21am, Dru had not yet entered the game, which was in the third quarter.
- Quin Snyder’s Utah Jazz took on the Charlotte Hornets on Monday, and won, 112-102. Jordan Clarkson played 22 minutes and scored 11 points on 4-9 shooting (3-6 from 3) with 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block, and a turnover. Their next game is against the T-Wolves on Thursday at 8pm.
- Nick Bolton was all over the field in the Chiefs’ latest win, according to the KC Star’s Lila Bromberg.
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