On Saturday evening at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, the #5 Missouri Tigers (30-4, 14-4) defeated the #11 Baylor Bears (27-7, 12-6) by the final score of 90-75, to capture the Big 12 Tournament Championship.
Immediately after the game, Missouri Head Coach Frank Haith was too emotional to speak.
"It was unbelievable! I thought our guys just played their (tails) off," said Coach Haith, after he had time to compose himself. "I'm just proud and honored and humbled by the whole experience. When we drove up today in the bus, and we had all of the Mizzou fans outside there, it was all I could do not to get emotional. After 25 years in this business, to have an opportunity like this is just a blessing."
Missouri led 43-37 at the half, and pushed their lead out to 14 points at 56-42, on a Matt Pressey lay-up with 15:41 remaining in the game. Five Missouri players scored at least 15 points against the Bears.
Kim English scored 19 points on 6-10 shooting, and pulled down 6 rebounds. English has been playing the best basketball of his career this week. He was named the Tournament MVP, and was joined on the All-Tournament team by Phil Pressey.
After the game, English reiterated his response to Kansas Coach Bill Self's assertion earlier this week that Kansas City is a Kansas town.
"This is a testament to my coaches and my teammates," began English. "We did a really good job of exploiting (other teams') weaknesses in our city, of Kansas City, nobody else, it's our city!"
Phil Pressey scored 15 points and handed out 9 assists. Those 15 points raised Phil's season scoring average above 10 points/game, which gives Missouri 5 players averaging in double figures in scoring heading into the NCAA Tournament.
Ricardo Ratliffe scored 15 points and pulled down 5 rebounds before he fouled out for the first time this season. Mike Dixon scored 17 points for Missouri.
Marcus Denmon gutted it out despite playing on a bad ankle, and finished the game with 15 points and 3 rebounds. Denmon talked about what it means to him to win the Big 12 Tournament Championship in his home town of Kansas City.
"Being able to bring a Big 12 Championship back to Columbia is special," said Denmon. "Being Kansas City natives makes it that much better."