March 18, 2010

Ready for another run

BUFFALO, NY-A year after sprinting to the Elite Eight and shocking most of the college basketball world in the process, Missouri is back in the NCAA Tournament. Mizzou practiced in Buffalo on Thursday, where the 10th-seeded Tigers will take on 7th-seeded Clemson on Friday at 1:45 in the first round of the East Regional. Missouri is the underdog this year but the Tigers feel the same as they embark on their second consecutive Tournament appearance.

"It's basically the same," said senior forward Keith Ramsey. "We just come here and try to get some wins, play hard. We had two losses we didn't come to play. We are trying to get everybody else ready."

Ramsey referred to Mizzou's back to back losses to close out the season; at home against Kansas in the regular season finale and last week's disappointing first round exit at the Big 12 Tournament at the hands of Nebraska. Missouri is a team that feeds off of momentum during games but a lack of momentum heading into the NCAA Tournament does not sway the Tigers' confidence.

"I don't think there's anything wrong with being down after a loss," said senior guard Zaire Taylor. "It's natural as a competitor. Sometimes--usually after you lose--you can't wait to get back out there and then losing two in a row, you want a chance to redeem yourself. So the layoff is good in some ways. It gives you a chance to clear your mind and get ready and get focused. But at the same time, you don't want to take that eagerness and desire to get a win."

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