Missouri lays an egg - KMOV.com

Missouri lays an egg

The Missouri Tigers do know the NCAA Tournament will not be held at Mizzou Arena - right?

For the second consecutive weekend, the Tigers hit the road, only to turn in a terrible, horrid performance. Last Sunday, they lost 90-65 at Kansas and Saturday they fell to Texas A&M by 10 points. In a bit of cruelty, both games were on national television - casual college basketball fans around the country must be wondering how Missouri has been a top-15 team the past few weeks.

With the loss, Missouri is unlikely to get a No. 2 seed in the Tournament - which would have allowed them to open The Dance in Kansas City.

Saturday's game in Galveston was comical. Coming off a win Wednesday over No. 5 Oklahoma, the Tigers had the opportunity to defeat an inferior opponent and surge into the NCAA Tournament with as much momentum as any team in the country.

That didn't happen.

Instead, Missouri came out like a team with nothing to play for. They scored just 29 points in the first half and were down by as many as 26 at one point. Mike Anderson was able to help them regroup offensively at the halftime, as they scored 57 in the second half. But it wasn't enough.

Two disturbing trends are emerging for Missouri. This first is they simply are not an exceptional team on the road. The Tigers own two impressive road wins to their name - Oklahoma State and Texas. While a win is a win, Missouri only beat those teams by a combined 6 points.

And the losses?

In conference play, Missouri has been defeated by Nebraska, Kansas State, Kansas and now Texas A&M. Those games weren't even close, as the average margin of defeat for Missouri was 14.25 points. Realistically speaking, Missouri is significantly better than all those teams - they beat Nebraska, K-State and Kansas in Columbia. The Jayhawks are the only one which will certainly be in the NCAA Tournament.

Missouri students and alumni brag how the Tigers didn't lose a home game all season. That's nice, but it doesn't mean a thing if they can't take care of business on the road.

The Tigers are also a very different team in the first half. Going into Saturday's game, Missouri scored 1,129 points in the first half of games, but 1,322 in the second half. Perhaps the victory over Kansas was their signature game of the season - and partly because they scored just 16 points in the first half before waking up in the second half and propelling themselves to a 62-60 victory.

A 25-6 record, with just 4 losses in the Big 12, was a successful regular season for the Missouri Tigers - especially compared with last season - but it could have been better.

The Tigers must now look forward, because the Big 12 Championship begins this week.

Michael Bittner is a student at the University of Missouri School of Journalism.

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