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.
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.
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.
Big man. Big time. Big plays.
At 6 feet 9 and 265 pounds, Missouri senior Arthur Johnson is often associated with the word “big”.
Missouri’s game against Kansas on Sunday boasted many story lines, but its status as the last regular season game played at Hearnes Center was among the most prominent.
The Tigers could host another game at Hearnes if invited to the NIT instead of the NCAA Tournament.
Although the game ended on a down note Sunday, fans and former coach Norm Stewart received a heart-warming surprise.
At halftime of Missouri’s loss to Kansas, MU Chancellor Richard Wallace announced to a sellout crowd of 13,611 that Norm Stewart Court would be transferred to the new arena for play in 2004-05.
Any loss to Kansas is disappointing, but Missouri found a way to make Sunday’s loss more frustrating.
The Tigers made 19-of-32 attempts, 59 percent, from the free-throw line, significantly lower than its 72 percent season average. The Tigers missed the front end of three one-and-one opportunities in the second half, spurring a 9-0 Kansas run that gave the Jayhawks a 77-67 edge with less than five minutes left.
After stealing the ball with five minutes left in the third quarter, Ian Patterson immediately started on a fast break.
Once Patterson realized he did not have a clear path to the basket, he slowed down and waited for teammate Will Echelmeier to get down the court. Patterson then passed the ball to Echelmeier under the basket for a layup.
In the middle of the fifth inning Sunday, Missouri coach Ty Singleton called his team into the room behind the dugout to remind them what they were there to do.
“To get them out of the noise, out of the wind, out of the cold, I wanted to bring them into the team room for just a minute,” Singleton said. “To say, OK guys, I want you to take a deep breath and say simply, this is all we’re trying to do; this is our approach. I don’t want any other distractions.”
The ice used to soothe injuries might as well have been salt.
Four Missouri players nursed injuries after their matches and watched as Iowa edged the Tigers 4-3 on Sunday at the Green Tennis Center.
It was designed to do it all and to last a long time.
Although Hearnes Center isn’t closing, its time as the home to Missouri basketball has come to the end.
Since the first jump ball Nov. 25, 1972, until today, Missouri has played 475 home games at Hearnes Center.
The magic and atmosphere surrounding Hearnes Center will be experienced one more time today as Missouri takes on Kansas in the building’s finale. Many memories will remain from the building’s history, but 10 moments highlight Missouri’s home.
SEDALIA — As Lauren Harris started to count down, she started to feel better.
It didn’t matter that Kickapoo inched closer; she had the state tournament in her sights.
Of the numerous storylines surrounding Missouri’s final game of the regular season, coach Quin Snyder has only one on his mind.
Today’s game is Senior Day for four Tigers. It will be the final regularly scheduled game in Hearnes Center. Snyder will go for his 100th win, and those are only the highlights.
Through 32 years of basketball at Hearnes Center, Missouri fans have seen some of the best players in the country.
The strength of the Big Eight and Big 12 conferences brought in talented teams every season, and Missouri’s nonconference schedules have brought in many more.
It was one of Kansas’ best teams facing a reeling Missouri squad.
The Jayhawks were No. 1 in the county, 22-0 and 8-0 in Big 12 Conference play. College basketball experts were beginning to wonder whether this Kansas team could become the first to go undefeated since Indiana in 1976.
Upsets, buzzer beaters, wins against Kansas and incredible individual performances define the greatest of the 382 Missouri women’s basketball games played at Hearnes Center.
The most memorable of these games, though, is most remembered not for the action during the game but for the postgame brawl.
AMES, Iowa — Missouri wrestling coach Brian Smith almost flew out of his chair as he celebrated Kenny Burleson’s Big 12 Conference championship. Smith calmed down when Ben Askren and Jeff Foust won.
Four Missouri wrestlers competed in the conference finals in Hilton Coliseum on Saturday, and three earned titles.
For the first 24 years of its gymnastics program, Missouri never scored at or above 197 points. The Tigers have done it three times in one season.
Missouri scored 197.125 at the Mizzou Invitational on Saturday, defeating Northern Illinois (192.875), Illinois State (191.750) and Centenary (191.400) at this season’s final meet at Hearnes Center.
As a numbers game, basketball traditionally favors the team with more points, more rebounds and more precise passes. Of course, having more superstars on the court at once doesn’t hurt, either.
Since 1972, Hearnes Center has set the perfect stage for the best players in Missouri history, but it was clearly a better showcase for double-act talent.