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THE WEEK IN MISSOURI SPORTS: Rivalry basketball game, football signing day

Sunday, February 5, 2012 | 7:53 p.m. CST; updated 8:33 p.m. CST, Sunday, February 5, 2012

COLUMBIA — For Missouri fans, it doesn't get much better than the past week. The football team won the battle for top recruit Dorial Green-Beckham, and the men's basketball team defeated rival Kansas with ESPN's "College GameDay" in town while picking up a road win against Texas earlier in the week. 

On the downside, the women's basketball team remained winless in the Big 12 Conference.

Green-Beckham picks Missouri

With his announcement from Hillcrest (Springfield) High School televised on ESPNU on Wednesday morning, 6-foot-6, 220-pound wide receiver Dorial Green-Beckham slipped on a Missouri hat, indicating his decision to play for the football team.

Green-Beckham chose Missouri over future Southeastern Conference opponents Arkansas and Alabama as well as Big 12 powerhouses Texas and Oklahoma. He said he wanted to stay close to home and felt comfortable around the coaching staff.

Thayer Evans of Foxsports.com wrote a fascinating story on the recruitment process for Green-Beckham and his family. It details how each team courted the 18-year-old high school senior and how Missouri ultimately won.

Green-Beckham was one of 19 players who signed to play for Missouri on Wednesday, including Lee's Summit offensive lineman Evan Boehm and Kenton, Ohio, quarterback Maty Mauk. The high-profile signing caused excitement among Missouri fans on Twitter.

Men's basketball team beats Kansas, Texas

Missouri fell from No. 2 to No. 4 in the newest national rankings Monday, and Kansas fell from No. 5 to No. 8. Before the teams could meet in Columbia, though, the Tigers had to play a tough road game against Texas.

Missouri trailed by a point with a minute remaining, but a late layup and 21 points overall by guard Michael Dixon gave the team a 67-66 win.

Fans then began preparing for what could be the last basketball game between Missouri and Kansas in Columbia. With resentment over Missouri leaving the Big 12 for the SEC, Kansas has shown no interest in continuing the century-long rivalry in a nonconference setting.

Vahe Gregorian of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch talked to former Missouri basketball coach Norm Stewart, who reflected on the rivalry and said he understood why Kansas doesn't want to continue it right now. The Post-Dispatch also ranked the Top 10 basketball games played between Missouri and Kansas in Columbia.

A mock rap video made by MU students called "We Are Mizzou" went viral after its initial release Jan. 27 on YouTube. The video extolled the Missouri basketball team and directed jabs at Big 12 opponents like the Jayhawks. Naturally, non-Missouri fans generally disliked it.

For the first time, ESPN's "College GameDay" came for a Missouri basketball game. Students who wanted to be at the show, held at 9 a.m. Saturday at Mizzou Arena, camped outside the arena as early as Wednesday night. An estimated 5,000 fans were in attendance, many holding signs and booing Kansas at every opportunity. The frenzy continued as tip-off approached

Missouri took a 39-34 lead into halftime but fell behind in the second half. When Kansas guard Tyshawn Taylor dunked to give the Jayhawks a 71-63 lead with three and a half minutes to play, an anticlimatic ending to the day was imminent.

Then, Missouri guard Marcus Denmon scored nine straight points — two 3-pointers, a layup and a free throw — to put Missouri back on top. Denmon led the Tigers with 29 points and nine rebounds in the 74-71 victory

Missouri is now 21-2 overall and 8-2 in the Big 12. The team travels to Oklahoma on Monday before hosting No. 6 Baylor Saturday.

Women's basketball team keeps losing

The Missouri women's basketball team dropped two more games, and neither were close.

On Wednesday, No. 1 Baylor beat Missouri 71-41. 6-foot-8 forward Brittney Griner scored 18 points for the Bears, including their first eight of the game. On the bright side, the Tigers improved on their 44-point defeat at Baylor earlier this season.

Then on Sunday, Missouri had 26 turnovers and fell 76-49 at Texas Tech. The team is now 0-10 in the Big 12 and 10-11 overall. The Tigers play Iowa State on Wednesday and Oklahoma on Saturday.


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