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Countdown to Tipoff

ncaa tourney

Mini Mizzou members wait to take their places as Florida and Virginia battle on the hardwood.

Sporadic calls of “M-I-Z!” rang out surrounding the CenturyLink Center March 16, 2012, as Mizzou faithful filed into the Omaha, Neb., facility. The Tigers – set to take on the Norfolk State Spartans at approximately 3:40 CDT on TNT – waited behind the scenes while assistant coaches Tim Fuller and Ernie Nestor scouted Mizzou’s next possible opponent in the Florida-Virginia game.

The 17,560-capacity arena was swathed in Gator and Cavalier orange and blue, Jayhawk and Titan red and blue, and Boliermaker and Mizzou black and gold. The arena’s staff, however, gathered around backroom TVs to watch the hometown Creighton Blue Jays defeat the Alabama Crimson Tide 58-57 in Greensboro, N.C. The second round West Regional matchup between the Tigers and Spartans is the teams’ first meeting.

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