Who would have predicted that at the beginning of the season?
On an emotional Senior Night at Mizzou Arena, Mike Anderson made one of the nicest gestures a coach can make: he scratched the normal lineup and instead started all 4 seniors to go along with junior J.T. Tiller.
The Mizzou Arena crowd roared with approval and the Tigers got out to a quick 13-7 lead with the four seniors on the floor.
"Mike Jr. really sparked our basketball team tonight," coach Mike Anderson said.
"A lot of emotions were going through my head. I concentrated on my defense and made things happen," Anderson Jr. said.
The Tigers continued to stretch their lead until coach Jeff Capel realized he had the best player in the country on his team.
Griffin proceeded to score 11 points for the remainder of the first half, to go along with a ridiculous 9 boards.
The Tigers held their own on the glass, though, only losing the rebounding battle 21-19 in the first half.
The Tigers expanded their lead at the start of the second half, but the Sooners would not go away, trimming the lead to 8 at 49-41 with 9:15 to play.
The Tigers had gone cold from the field and weren't doing much better on the glass. In true Mizzou fashion, the Tigers fought back once again and put away the Sooners for good.
A 7-2 run put the lead at 13 with 8 minutes to go, and it was too much for Oklahoma to handle. Missouri finished off the Sooners, 73-64, and completed their perfect regular season home record.
The Tigers were not afraid of Blake Griffin, as evident by multiple Mizzou players driving right at the 6-10 sophomore.
In fact, Mizzou did not seem intimidated at all by the #5 ranked Sooners, a stark contrast from the game just 3 days earlier against highly ranked Kansas.
Key contributors included JT Tiller, who scored 13 and was intense on defense, and Demarre Carroll, who scored in 15.
"J.T. Tiller is the defensive player of the year. His energy is amazing," Carroll said of his teammate.
The raucous crowd certainly helped the Tigers get into a groove. The Missouri faithful roared with approval after every made basket, and were hanging on every whistle and shot.
The players certainly responded with inspired play. This was the loudest I've heard Mizzou Arena, ever, and the end result was a perfect home record.
DeMarre Carroll summed it up pretty well.
"Perfect. That's a great word."
The Tigers will travel to College Station, TX to finish up Big XII regular season play by taking on the Texas A&M Aggies at 1 PM central time on Saturday.