March 22, 2013

Down without a fight

For 33 games, we heard the same basic refrain from the Missouri Tigers this year.

"Every day, each game, whether we win, whether we lose, it's a new game and it's a new task ahead of us," Earnest Ross said, as recently as Wednesday afternoon as Mizzou prepared for its NCAA Tournament opener against Colorado State.

All year, the Tigers said pretty much the same thing. And I get that all teams say the same thing. "One game at a time" is the most used sentence in all of sports. But for the last few weeks, I couldn't help thinking Missouri took it maybe a step too far.

After some of the ways the Tigers managed to lose games in the last six weeks of the season, I kept expecting to see SOMEONE flip their top. Frank Haith did it briefly in a season-ending 64-62 loss at Tennessee, caught on camera screaming "WHY?" and then some other choice words as Phil Pressey hoisted a way-too-early three-pointer to try to get Missouri over its close-but-no-cigar February and March woes. But nobody ever got angry, nobody ever lashed out in the press, nobody ever gave us that peek behind the curtain that indicated the untapped potential of this team was driving them as nuts as it was all of us that watched it.

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