Missouri Chokes One Away to UCLA

Stephen Dunn

In Game #13 of the Farewell Tour, an inexplicable choke job by Missouri ensures that once again, the UCLA Zombie Coach Doctrine will be in full effect

The UCLA Zombie Coach Doctrine: All UCLA coaches that are past their expiration date must be given more games than they deserve to fill their few remaining desperate supporters with false hope before reality finally sets in and smacks them in the face.

The genesis of this is, of course, Nestor's stubborn insistence that this was a game we could not and would not lose. As we sat there with four minutes remaining and down by nearly double digits, no invites to Vegas for N appeared to be forthcoming. In the face of increasing rumors of a midseason coaching change, there was simply no way UCLA would be allowed to take the easy road to the long term health of its basketball program.

Missouri had shown all game long that the one thing they could not afford to do was turn the ball over. Nearly every instance of a Tiger miscue resulted in Bruin points. Every run they made was marked by clean play by Phil Pressey, who ended up with 19 assists on the game. Every Bruin run was marked by Tigers fumbling the ball away, committing offensive fouls, and throwing terrible passes.

So with four minutes to go, the Tigers coughed it up twice on cue in back to back possessions leading to five straight Bruin points and LOLapalooza was on once again. People often talk about how you can have a close game that wasn't necessarily good, and this was proof positive that such games exist. Fortunately, Jordan Adams who tied the game in regulation with a driving layup and Shabazz Muhammad who reasserted himself offensively in overtime was enough to carry this team to the finish.

Of course, on the other end, Missouri is left wondering what in the world they stepped in on the way to the arena to deserve the types of turnovers and blown wide open layups that killed them tonight. Combined with the refs doing a little (or a lot of) home cooking, you had to feel for them a little, because they had no idea they were about to get victimized by the UCLA Zombie Coach Doctrine. All I know is that the next time I'm going to Vegas, I'm going to be asking for Nestor's advice.

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