Basketball is over? Basketball is over :(
It’s the first Monday without Missouri basketball in several months, and it’s only slightly better now that we know Illinois didn’t do all that much better.
As teams began booking their tickets to the Sweet 16 on Sunday evening, Missouri and its fans were left reflecting on the 72-68 loss to Oklahoma that sent the Tigers packing in another first-round NCAA exit.
For the St. Louis Post Dispatch, Dave Matter recapped some of the game’s biggest moments from the lens of the offseason ahead. He spent considerable time discussing Xavier Pinson, who rode the bench for most of the second half and wasn’t shy about his feelings afterward.
Pinson wasn’t available for comment after the game, but, in what’s become an offseason tradition for the point guard, he went to Instagram to post a cryptic message: “100% physically healthy but 100% mentally hurt . . .” followed by a broken heart emoji. As always with Pinson, interpret at your own risk.
His colleague, Benjamin Hochman, echoed many a Missouri fan when he muttered, “same ol’ Mizzou,” in his opening lines. He did, however, ultimately determine that the season was a nice surprise from the start.
And so, it’s over. Mizzou lost seven of its final 10 games of the season. The Tigers have dropped their past six NCAA Tournament contests.
Now, it was a positive season, to be sure. The 16-10 Tigers had a winning percentage of .615, their best since 2013-14. And while making the tournament is the goal every season, and entering this season, it didn’t seem like this Mizzou team was a “tournament team.”
I’m not exactly sure about that note on our preseason expectations (many people, after all, expected Missouri to be at least good enough to make the tournament), but the first few months of the season would certainly qualify as a pleasant surprise.
Finally, over at PowerMizzou, Mitchell Forde filed his gamer with some final thoughts from Cuonzo Martin on his seniors.
“They did a great job of getting us back where we need to be as a program,” he said. “We’ll continue to make progress as a program. So they did that. They stayed the course. Again, this year had a lot of things take place in it, on and off the court. And I thought our guys did an admirable job of being professional, taking it as it comes, not complaining, not making excuses. So I’m really proud of those guys, they really matured, great senior group and just I think, simply said, they were professionals from start to finish.”
We’ll have plenty of season-in-review stuff coming over the next few weeks here at Rock M. Then we head into an offseason of unknowns — perhaps more than any so far in Cuonzo Martin’s tenure.
Yesterday at Rock M
- Another year, another top 10 national finish for Brian Smith and Mizzou Wrestling. #TigerStyle finished 7th at this year’s NCAA Championships, netting three All-Americans in the process.
- Need a small Tyler Macon highlight reel from Saturday’s black and gold game? Oh, well then here you go!
- Joshuah Bledsoe is feeling good about his draft chances, and he explained why in an interview with The Draft Network.
- Two late home runs helped boost Missouri to a 5-3 win over Kentucky on Sunday. It’s the Tigers’ first SEC win of the season and moves them to 8-12 on the season.
- In a rare turn of events, the Mizzou Softball team was on the worse end of the diamond sports to close out the weekend. The Tigers dropped a late game to Georgia by a score of 8-7, bringing them to 21-6 in 2021.
- Mizzou Tennis continued its impressive season on Sunday, topping Drake to get win number 15. It’s the fifth-most wins in a season in program history with six matches still left on the schedule.
- If you’re looking to sign up for ESPN+, Rock M Nation now has an affiliate link: click Here for ESPN+ Now!
- If you’re looking to sign up for a new streaming service, you can try FuboTV: click HERE for FuboTV access — FuboTV now has ESPN, CBS, FS1 and more sports channels.
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