Column: Enjoy victory, fear defeat
Feb. 28, 2003
The opinions expressed by The Maneater columnists do not represent the opinions of The Maneater editorial board.
Congrats to Quin Snyder for finally beating Oklahoma. It took seven chances, but Missouri's coach, along with a bunch of players who wouldn't lose, took care of business Wednesday at the Hearnes Center.
The Tigers' victory proved something: Parity is still alive and well in the top half of the Big 12 Conference. Had Oklahoma reeled off another conference victory, it would have been able to take the league crown back home to Norman.
Despite Kansas' 40-point drubbing of Texas A&M Wednesday, Oklahoma looked too strong for the other 11 teams. They did what they wanted to the Jayhawks last Sunday, and the Sooners had momentum on their side.
They appeared to have hit their stride, which would have helped for OU's rematch with Texas on March 8. Instead, the Sooner Schooner hit a Tiger-striped speed bump, and the conference remained unfinished and in the air.
The trick now for Quin's bunch is how to follow this game without suffering from the problems it has had all season. The Tigers are in the NCAA Tournament for sure.
Shocking the No. 3 team in the country just weeks from Selection Sunday will do that for a better-than-average team in a power conference.
Missouri cannot look past its next opponent, Kansas State, or the Wildcats' record (12-14 overall, 3-10 in the conference) and assume it will result with a notch in the win column. Missouri stinks away from home. The Tigers are just 3-7 outside Columbia, their biggest fault, and KSU is a respectable 10-4 in Manhattan.
The Wildcats, who don't have a dominant scorer, do have four players who average in double figures in the points department. That could be trouble for Missouri's teeter-totter defense.
Point being, don't be surprised if the Tigers have a bit of a letdown following an orgasmic game.
Earlier in the year, I was in Kansas City with a couple of Kansas State fans. Basically, they didn't believe their Cats could beat Missouri. It goes to show what a being a football school will do for a basketball program.
Not a gosh-darn thing.
Kansas State had an eight-game winning streak earlier this season, capped by an upset against Texas Tech. Still, Wildcat faithful didn't seem to notice or care unless they got tipsy.
("Editor's Note:" This column in no way reflects The Maneater's view of K-State's women's team, which is really, really good.)
When men's basketball in the state of Kansas, west of Lawrence, has any sort of success, people wonder if some of the football players have changed sports. Then, fans wait for some sort of Chernobyl-type disaster because no one thinks it will last.
It truly is quite pathetic.
I hope what Snyder, Gary Pinkel and Mike Alden are doing keeps Tiger fans from ever getting a one-track, er, court, mind.
Meanwhile, checking out the Big 12 individual statistics, I was surprised to see only one MU player atop a category during conference play. And that torch belongs to junior Arthur Johnson.
The Tiger big man is leading the league in offensive rebounds. After Wednesday, he's averaging 4.15 offensive boards per conference game.
In Missouri's 24 total games, Johnson's number falls just a shade to 4.0 ' or double my grade-point average.