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Missouri Snubbed in Big 12/SEC Challenge, Paired vs. West Virginia

Frank Haith and his Tigers will be playing a not-so-familiar opponent in the Big 12/SEC Challenge in November.
Frank Haith and his Tigers will be playing a not-so-familiar opponent in the Big 12/SEC Challenge in November.Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
Dan IrwinCorrespondent IIMay 14, 2013

Missouri Tiger basketball fans who are getting accustomed to life in the Southeastern Conference will undoubtedly have their ears perk up at the idea of a Big 12/SEC basketball challenge.

The Tigers have yet to face a former Big 12 school in either of the two major sports, and with this new pairing being announced, the excitement has built.

Until it died today.

CBS Sports detailed the schedule, which has Missouri slated to take on West Virginia.

Let it be known that Bob Huggins is a fine coach who deserves respect, but there won't be much excitement when the team who was brought in to replace the team who left end up playing each other in Columbia.

Normally, for these kinds of challenge encounters, teams are paired up against one another based on how well they should match up to one another. While Mizzou certainly underperformed this past season, they were still a solid NCAA tournament team with thrilling road overtime losses against both Kentucky and UCLA.

West Virginia's performance last season, on the other hand, was a little bit different. After starting the year by taking an uppercut to the jaw from Gonzaga on national television, the Mountaineers had a year of total inconsistency where they never won more than three games in a row. They'd go on to lose their last seven games in a row, finishing the year 13-19.

And although Mizzou has lost Phil Pressey (which may be a blessing in disguise), the incoming class of five includes three 4-star players (Rivals) in power forward Jonathan Williams III, point guard Wesley Clark and Mizzou's new true big man, the 6'11", 260-pound Keanau Post. It's hard to argue against Mizzou when fans have seen what Frank Haith is capable of.

So don't expect much love from Missouri fans when the Big 12/SEC Challenge rolls in to Columbia. You know, I know and the rest of the country knows that the only thing we really want to see is Missouri play Kansas. For now though, Tiger fans will continue to ride out the time by playing West Virginia.

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