Kansas State vs. Missouri: What We Know About the Big 12 from the Tigers' Loss

Farzin VousoughianContributor IIIFebruary 21, 2012

Kansas State vs. Missouri: What We Know About the Big 12 from the Tigers' Loss

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    Despite struggling this season and falling out of the Top 25, Kansas State came into this game with a 7-7 conference record and stunned the third-ranked Missouri Tigers.

    Not only did Missouri suffer its second regular-season loss to Kansas State but it also lost at home for the first time this season.

    Missouri's unexpected loss to Kansas State has completely changed the Big 12 race.

Missouri Is Beatable in Columbia

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    Everyone has been under the impression that the Tigers are invincible at home.

    The Tigers were 25-2 on the season with both of their conference losses being on the road. The Tigers lost at home when it was least expected against a team that has been inconsistent in conference play.

    It may be Missouri's only home loss of the season. However, Kansas State proved that it is a doable task.

    Iowa State, a team slightly better than Kansas State, needs to learn from this game if they want a chance to surprise Missouri in their next home game on Feb. 29. It is doubtful, but this game has taught everyone that anything is possible.

Kansas State Will Play in the NCAA Tournament

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    Kansas State has earned a lot of respect from this three-game stretch against teams all in the Top 10.

    The Wildcats fell against the Kansas Jayhawks at home, but pulled off a pair of stunners in back-to-back road wins against the Baylor Bears and Missouri Tigers. This comes off as a surprise since Kansas State lost four of their last six games before going on the road to face Baylor.

    Kansas State is now 8-7 on the season in the conference. With a big statement made tonight, the Wildcats could make some noise in the Big 12 tournament in Kansas City and in the NCAA tournament in March.

    With Kansas State improving, it may end up receiving a low seed in the NCAA tournament and could possibly be a sleeper team that advances farther than many expect.

A Loss to Kansas State Does Not Mean Missouri Will Beat Kansas

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    In sports, we are often under the impression that a team will have more motivation in their next game if they lose a game they were not expected to lose.

    A lot of people believe the Tigers are more motivated, and they will play with more energy because of their loss to the Wildcats.

    In other words, many people are calling this a "good loss."

    The fact is, there is no such thing as a "good loss" in any sport. Missouri could not afford this loss, especially when it faces a Kansas team that has been nearly unbeatable at home the past few years.

    There is no seal or guarantee for Saturday's game, but fans need to stop sugarcoating this "good loss" and understand that a two-game losing streak is a possibility.

Baylor Will Not Move Ahead of Missouri in the Big 12

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    Baylor fans may not want to hear this, but the chances of them earning a No. 2 seed in the Big 12 tournament is very slim. It would ultimately require Missouri to lose out and Baylor to win out.

    While Baylor could win out against Oklahoma, Texas Tech and Iowa State, it is unlikely that Missouri loses to Kansas, Iowa State and Texas Tech. At the very worst, Missouri is likely to take two of the three games.

    We have all seen Baylor fall in the Big 12 after being swept by Kansas and Missouri this year. Baylor's surprising loss to Kansas State has pushed them out of the Big 12 race, making it a contest between Kansas and Missouri.

    If Baylor can't compete with the top-tier teams of the Big 12 during the conference tournament, Baylor fans could witness an early exit when the Big Dance takes place next month.

Kansas Has the Best Shot at Winning the Regular-Season Conference Title

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    Kansas will most likely win the Big 12 regular-season title this year, one way or another.

    Worst-case scenario for Kansas, the Tigers pick up a win at Allen Fieldhouse this Saturday, which is a doable task, and Kansas could end up sharing the regular-season conference title with Missouri.

    Tuesday night's loss has opened up many possibilities on who will win the regular-season title and how teams will be ranked for the Big 12 tournament when they play at the Sprint Center.

    Outside of Missouri, the three teams Kansas has remaining on their schedule are all under .500 in conference play. Kansas should be able to beat all three of those teams, which will guarantee them the conference title for the regular season.

Frank Haith Still Has a Good Shot at Winning the Coach of the Year Award

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    Let's be honest here.

    How many of us thought Frank Haith would lift the Missouri Tigers to the Top Five when it was announced last year that he would take over for Mike Anderson?

    Haith has had an unbelievable season and has learned a lot in his first year as the head coach of the Missouri Tigers. Of course, Tuesday night's loss was a bad loss, but that doesn't mean he should be out of consideration for winning the Coach of the Year award with everything he has overcome.

    Haith is responsible for Marcus Denmon's monster season as well as Michael Dixon's performance coming off of the bench and shooting well at the free-throw line.

     

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