One of the common theories tossed out in the media (and by yours truly) is that Mike Anderson’s Mizzou teams tend to peak at the end of the season. 2008′s team was the perfect example, winning the Big 12 tourney, then heading into the NCAA as a #3 seed, and eventually blowing out highly ranked Memphis to cruise to the Elite Eight. March saw them hit a gear they hadn’t flirted with all season.
After last night’s showing in Lincoln, that theory is officially on the ropes in 2011.
If you didn’t tune into the game, we’ll give you a quick visual summary. The “Fastest 40 Minutes in Basketball” got whipped by a team that gives significant minutes to this guy…
In other words, they were pretty much the opposite of “fast” in Lincoln.
After beating Baylor at home last week to theoretically lock up their bid to the NCAA Tournament, the Tigers took double digit beat-downs on the road at Kansas State and now Nebraska. Next up on Saturday, a home game against the one team expected to win at Mizzou Arena – #2 Kansas Jayhawks.
A quick look at their status in the AP Polls throughout the season tells a story of how they’re trending since Big 12 conference play kicked off…
The Tigers checked in at #9 in the nation three times this season, a very respectable peak. Since climbing back to #11 in Week 12, it has been a steady downhill slide, serving as a convenient microcosm of their overall play. While being in the rankings is always a positive reflection of the expectations, tumbling out of the rankings on the cusp of the postseason is not.
And trust me, any time you get whipped by a team that features a 300 lb Brazilian dude nicknamed “Big Coffee”, that will be listed under “negatives” when the Selection Committee is reviewing your Tournament resume.