Missouri Tigers: Big 12 Tournament Champions

David CotterCorrespondent IMarch 4, 2009

Consider these stats: Ranked No. 8 in the country, posting an impressive 24-5 record, second in the Big 12 in scoring, out scoring their opponents by over 16 points a game, leading the league in assist with 19 a game, and having the best turnover to assist ratio in the Big 12 at 1.51.

Not only does this sound like a team bound to make a Big 12 Championship run, but a Final Four run.

The Missouri Tiger's success was expected by few this year, yet they are shocking the nation and the Big 12 with stout team play, and a never give up attitude.

The Tigers were a pre-season pick to finish seventh in the league, and ranked out of the top 25. Now, just recently eliminated from a Big 12 regular season championship, Missouri is going to shock everyone again and win the Big 12 Tournament.

Sound ridiculous? Think again.

Missouri has beaten seven teams ranked teams this year. The Tigers have an adjusted scoring margin (ASM) of 18.2—the sixth-best mark in the country behind only, North Carolina, Duke, Pittsburgh, Memphis, and UConn.

All of these teams are considered Final Four candidates.

Missouri will beat Oklahoma on Wednesday. Oklahoma's three losses, (two of which are at default since they didn't have the player of the year in either game, sorry Kansas, your win against them didn't mean anything).

They will have the No. 2 seed in the Big 12 Tournament, which means they will have a first round bye.

Missouri will have some of the freshest legs going into the tournament, since they have more than a two man team (aka: Kansas),  and have just finished playing their toughest stretch of basketball, playing three of the top-four Big 12 teams.

The real point I'm trying to prove here is that if Missouri struggles against a team, it will be due to poor shooting percentage, not lack of effort. And it will be against a real basketball team, like Xavier.

Here are several reasons why Kansas won't win the Big 12 tournament, and will have a zero percent chance of making a deep run in the NCAA tournament.

Kansas has played inconsistent basketball all season. Losing to low life teams like Umass, who is 10-17 at the Sprint Center—which is basically a home game for Kansas,—Syracuse, again at the Sprint Center, and a "good win" against a weak Tennessee team this year.

Outside of Allen Field House, this team is sub par, and unfortunately, zero NCAA tournament games are being played at Allen Fieldhouse this year. 

Getting up on teams and letting them come back is a quick way to lose in the early rounds of the NCAA tournament.

Experienced players get you far in the NCAA tournament, not potential.