March 18, 2013

Oriakhi leads as Tigers dance

It has been 367 days. And not one Missouri fan--heck, not one college basketball fan--has forgotten it. Norfolk State 86, Missouri 84.

It is one of the major headlines of Missouri's NCAA Tournament lore. It goes right there beside--maybe in front of--Tyus Edney and Northern Iowa and Elite Eight runs in 1976, 1994, 2002 and 2009. And even on Selection Sunday more than a calendar year later, there were many questions about what the Tigers learned from that experience that they can use in their next NCAA Tournament appearance, which begins on Thursday night at approximately 8:20 Central time against Colorado State in Lexington, KY.

"Just have to be ready. Doesn't matter who you play. Anybody can be beat," Phil Pressey said. "Everybody brings their A game come NCAA Tournament. Everybody has that dream of winning the whole thing."

Pressey is the only Tiger who can really speak about that game because he is the only one who was on the floor. While fans and media like to talk about a team's tournament history, Norfolk State has no impact whatsoever once the Tigers and Rams tip on Thursday night. Still, there are lessons that can be learned from the early exit.

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