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History against Tigers

With college basketball immersed in March Madness, small, unheralded teams can use their conference tournaments to garner a shocking and unexpected automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament.

That probably won’t happen in the Big 12 Conference Tournament, which begins when No. 9 seed Kansas State and No. 8 seed Iowa State play at 2 p.m. today in Dallas’ American Airlines Center. The Wildcats and the Cyclones are two of the six teams without a first-round bye.

Paulding, Johnson receive Big 12 honors

Missouri seniors Arthur Johnson and Rickey Paulding received another personal accolade; this time it came from their peers.

The coaches of the Big 12 Conference named Johnson and Paulding to the All-Big 12 second team. Senior forward Travon Bryant received honorable mention honors.

Tigers’ bubble could be burst

Missouri’s last-second loss to Kansas on Sunday was frustrating enough, but, to make the situation worse for the Tigers, the defeat might push them out of the NCAA Tournament picture.

After the game, senior guard Josh Kroenke was hopeful about the Tigers’ chances.

Paulding, Johnson gain Big 12 honors

Despite an onslaught of early media criticism, Missouri seniors Rickey Paulding and Arthur Johnson proved they are among the Big 12 Conference’s best when the Associated Press announced its All-Conference teams Monday night.

Paulding and Johnson, who both average a team-leading 15.7 points per game, were named to the All-Big 12 second team. The same media panel picked Paulding and Johnson as preseason first-team prospects in November.

Hands up, hopes high

The Missouri women's basketball team took one step closer to earning a ticket to the big dance Tuesday night after defeating No. 10 seed Oklahoma State 75-52 in the opening round of the Big 12 Conference Tournament.

Missouri advances this time

DALLAS — Missouri made it known early it would be around for the second round of the Big 12 Conference Tournament this year.

The seventh-seeded Tigers shot nearly 66 percent in the first half before winning 75-52 against No. 10 seed Oklahoma State in the first round of the tournament Tuesday at Reunion Arena.

Ballard’s 52 carry Cougars

Khamari Ballard didn’t beat Harris-Stowe State by himself Tuesday, but the box score suggests he could have come close.

His school-record scoring performance helped Columbia College defeat the Hornets 119-45 in the first round of the American Midwest Conference Tournament at The Arena of Southwell Complex.

Skibbe’s departure benefits Missouri

DALLAS — Oklahoma State came to the Big 12 Conference Tournament reeling from the loss of its best player, but Missouri showed the Cowgirls no mercy Tuesday.

Trisha Skibbe, who led the Big 12 in scoring with 19 points per game, quit the team March 1, leaving Oklahoma State without its senior center heading into its regular-season finale March 3.

Cougars hit on all facets in sweep

Playing in a position that at times is known for teaching the art of observing grass grow, Krista Viefhaus, a center fielder for Columbia College, has learned to be patient.

That’s why it didn’t bother her to wait 12 innings before making two huge contributions to Columbia College’s sweep of the University of Illinois-Springfield on Tuesday at Columbia College.

Extra Points

Missouri changes ISU date; MU Track; MU Gymnastics

Ridley leads Cougars

Throughout Columbia College’s season, coach Mike Davis has repeatedly said Charliss Ridley looks great in blue and silver. Apparently, the other American Midwest Conference coaches agreed.

Ridley, a junior forward, was named the AMC’s Most Valuable Player after the Cougars’ 87-79 win against McKendree (Ill.) in the AMC Tournament final on Monday at The Arena of Southwell Complex.

Honors for Conley, Johnson

Junior guard Jason Conley and senior center Arthur Johnson represented Missouri on the Big 12 Conference’s Specialty Teams.

Conley made the All-Newcomer Team and the All-Reserve Team, and Johnson made the All-Defensive Team.

Cougars determined

The American Midwest Conference season’s conclusion was anticlimactic. Fortunately, the conference tournament guarantees an undisputed champion.

The Columbia College and Missouri Baptist men’s basketball teams accumulated 10-2 AMC records, and the teams split their head-to-head matchups. The No. 5 Cougars beat the No. 21 Spartans 84-71 on Feb. 7 in St. Louis. On Thursday, the Spartans defeated the Cougars 84-73 in Columbia.

Tigers in familiar territory

DALLAS – This is déjà vu with a twist.

Missouri finished the regular season in a three-way tie for seventh in the Big 12 Conference with Nebraska and Iowa State. Because of the tiebreaker system, Missouri (16-11, 7-9 Big 12) is the No. 7 seed.

NCAA bid is Unrau’s goal

DALLAS — Evan Unrau exceeded many expectations since coming to Missouri, including hers.

Unrau, a 6-foot-1 senior, came to Missouri in 2000 as a quiet kid from Fort Collins, Colo. She will leave as one of MU’s most versatile players.

Fairy tale turns into tragedy

Missouri coach Quin Snyder and his team crafted the perfect story.

After withering from the heights of great preseason expectations to below .500, the Tigers find paradise once lost in a second stretch of Big 12 Conference play as NCAA Tournament outsiders-turned-contenders in a matter of weeks.

Disappointed fans need not be at loss

I promised myself I would write about something different this week, but I can’t help it. It’s March, and I have basketball on the brain.

It’s like this every year. I can’t escape my basketball obsession at this time of year. I’m filling out brackets in my sleep, crunching the numbers to see whose bubbles have burst and contemplating calling in sick for the first Thursday and Friday of the NCAA Tournament.

Tigers have confidence in Coleman

Missouri fans held their breath when Brad Smith suffered a concussion in last season’s second game.

A star quarterback and Heisman Trophy candidate was sidelined indefinitely. With no proven backup, the season could have been done almost before it started.

Deafening Defeat

Aaron Miles has developed a knack for wrecking Missouri’s hopes late in games at Hearnes Center.

For the second consecutive year, Miles, a junior from Portland, Ore., hit a late-game 3-pointer late in the shot clock to devastate the Tigers. The shot helped the Jayhawks to an 84-82 win Sunday in a Big 12 Conference game that drew a crowd of 13,611 for the final regular season game at Hearnes Center.

AJ’s career day for naught

Big man. Big time. Big plays.

At 6 feet 9 and 265 pounds, Missouri senior Arthur Johnson is often associated with the word “big”.

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