Make no mistake, all of the pressure is on the Missouri Tigers on Sunday. How could it not be?
The Hearnes Center will be packed to the rafters with Missouri fans and a few visiting Kansas fans who will witness the final men's basketball game to be played there.
It has been reported that up to forty former players will on hand, as well as former coaches and countless alumni from across the country.
This game means a lot to Missouri!
Hearnes has provided many wonderful memories for Tigers fans over the past three decades. Several Big 8 championship teams played on that court, along with four of the five basketball players who have had their numbers retired by the University.
Norm Stewart will be on hand to see the last game played on the floor that bears his name. Don't think for a moment that this game doesn't mean a lot to him.
This will also be the final home game for Missouri's four senior players: Rickey Paulding Travon Bryant, Arthur Johnson and Josh Kroenke. You know that they will be sky high for this game.
And appropriately, the Kansas Jayhawks are in town to do everything in their power to ruin the day for the Tiger faithful. Could it end any other way?
Of secondary importance, but important nonetheless, a potential NCAA Tournament bid is at stake for Missouri which has won five of its past six games, and probably needs this win on Sunday to solidify their chances at gaining at least an at-large bid, pending the outcome of the Big 12 Tournament.
Yeah, I'd say the pressure will be on the Tigers.
However, Sunday is also a tremendous opportunity for redemption for this team. Missouri has struggled through countless problems this season, many of which could be erased by a sound thrashing of the Jayhawks.
This tasty drama unfolds at 1 pm Sunday. If you are one of the lucky ones with a ticket, you'll be a part of history regardless of the outcome. If not, I think there still may be a few tickets over on EBay being scalped along with hand towels.
Our one wish is that all of your Missouri fans who make it to the game, get your money's worth. Send the old girl into minor sports retirement in high style. Yell like you've never yelled before and make all of us proud.
Bring Mizzou alums from around the planet back home a victory!