Yesterday's trouncing by the Missouri Tigers over the Baylor Bears didn't just provide Frank Haith's team with an impact win (and Baylor with a frustrating loss). Instead, it accentuated the directions of both teams, and might play a bit of a fortunetelling role for the upcoming NCAA Tournament.
The Tigers started out strong, but have always had their doubters. Their schedule was called into question early on. Their lack of size was picked upon. Haith's own record was cause for doubt. Yet the Tigers just continued to win, allowing their play to silence their doubters. Now they've ended up impressing everyone with a close home win over the Kansas Jayhawks and their manhandling of the Bears yesterday.
As for Baylor, it's been the opposite. Everyone sung their praises before they'd even done much of anything on the court. Their players were hailed as future NBA stars and the team itself was instantly placed among National Championship contenders. Yet as the Big 12 season has played on, it's clear that Baylor just isn't as good as everyone thought.
Dana O'Neil of ESPN writes, "The Bears are, barring a miracle, all but eliminated from the Big 12 race. And instead of picking up steam, they are picking up doubters. That’s just the opposite of Missouri. With every passing game, the Tigers are silencing the critics, showing that while they might be unorthodox, they are no less effective. Makes sense. This is the Show Me State, after all."
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