Even despite Missouri's first home loss of the season last Tuesday against Kansas State this weekend's game against KU in Lawrence is being hyped up about as high as possible. The reasons behind the hype and excitement are due to many valid reasons such as it being quite possibly the last meeting between the two rivals in Allen Fieldhouse along with it being for a tie of first place in the Big 12.
Despite these strong reasons I have to believe that I am not the only person out there who feels that this game is being vastly overrated both on a local and national level. Yes the outside storylines are vast and the game will represent an ending of sorts to history but does anyone really expect the basketball game to be that overly close?
The meeting between the two rivals earlier this month in Columbia provided an instant classic as the Tigers were able to come away with a dramatic 74-71 victory. As everyone surely remembers it took a furious rally by Missouri to come away with the win as KU led by eight points in the game with a little over two minutes remaining. Throughout most of the game it seemed that the Jayhawks were in control and were frankly a better overall basketball team and this was despite the game being in Columbia and Jeff Withey being a total non-factor.
Since that ballgame, Withey has turned into a major force teaming up with Thomas Robinson in the post to give KU the best combination of big men in the Big 12. The emergence of Withey only seems to increase the likelihood of an easy Kansas win on Saturday.
This past Tuesday night the Tigers were demolished in the post by K-State who repeatedly pounded the ball down low and used their size and depth to get point blank opportunities. One has to expect a replay of this scenario happening when the Tigers visit Lawrence only the Jayhawks have Robinson & Withey who are better scorers than what K-State has.
One advantage that many people would say the Tigers have is experience as they are an upperclassman dominated team who in theory should be able to better handle tough road games. Unfortunately previous results show otherwise as the average margin of defeat in the Tigers last three visits to Allen Fieldhouse is just a touch over 20 points a game. Add in the fact that the environment inside the building will be as crazy as ever and the chances of Mizzou pulling the upset seem to be as slim as ever.
This isn't to say that you shouldn't watch the game as I definitely will be tuning in with likely the rest of Kansas City and a good portion of the college basketball nation but as is often the case the game likely won't live up to the hype. So while I understand the reasoning for such an overkill of coverage on local television and sports radio (and sports websites) it does seem somewhat silly to me as most everyone seems to be in agreement on who will win the game.