Missouri begins search for head coach

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Purdue head coach Matt Painter is on the wish list for Missouri’s vacant coaching position and will meet with school officials Wednesday, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Monday. 
 
Missouri is looking to replace Mike Anderson, who took the Arkansas job last week after five seasons with the Tigers.
 
Missouri offered Anderson a contract extension and raise for seven years at almost $2 million per year before he jumped ship for Arkansas.
 
Those figures are more than Painter currently makes at Purdue and could be a deciding factor in the coach’s decision.
 
Missouri’s season ended with a second-round loss to Cincinnati in the NCAA tournament, but the Tigers are ready to move on without Anderson.
 
“Hopefully, we get somebody here who’s really good and our senior leadership will carry us to the promised land,” forward Laurence Bowers told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “We’re still planning on winning a national championship, although he’s 
at Arkansas.”
 
Anderson’s departure left the Tigers with mixed feelings.
 
“You have to be kind of mad and disappointed,” said guard Marcus Denmon. “But you also have to wish him the best.”
Anderson went 111-57 at Missouri and led the Tigers to the Elite Eight in 2009, the same year they won their first Big 12 tournament title.
 
<strong>Kansas upset again</strong>
 
Kansas’ 71-61 loss to Virginia Commonwealth in the Elite Eight of the NCAA tournament Sunday was an all too familiar situation for Jayhawk fans of late.
 
VCU became the latest school from a mid-major conference to knock off Bill Self’s squad in the NCAA tournament, joining Bucknell, Bradley and Northern Iowa. The Jayhawks haven’t made it to the Final Four since their championship run in 2008.
Kansas became only the third team in NCAA tournament history to win 35 games and fail to reach the Final Four. 
 
“When you put yourself in a position to cash in, you’ve gotta take advantage of it,” Self said. “Bottom line, as much as I’d like to think it, these opportunities don’t happen every year. You’ve got to make the most of them.”
 
It will be the first Final Four without a No. 1 or a No. 2 seed. VCU joins Kentucky, Connecticut and Butler in Houston for a shot at the national title.
 
<strong>Colorado reaches NIT semifinals</strong>
 
One Big 12 team is still competing in postseason play, but it’s not the team most experts predicted. 
 
Colorado plays Alabama tonight in the NIT semifinals at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
 
The Buffaloes defeated Kent State last week to set a school record for victories in a season (24) and reach the semifinals of the tournament for the first time since 1991. Colorado won its only NIT title in 1940, when there was a six-team field.
Guards Cory Higgins and Alec Burks have carried the Buffaloes in the postseason, combining to average 45.7 points on 57 percent shooting from the field in three games.
 
Higgins, a senior, needs just 14 points to become Colorado’s all-time scoring leader and the seventh Big 12 player to surpass the 2,000-point plateau. 
 
Burks has set the Buffalo’s single season scoring record with 759 points, good for sixth on the Big 12 season chart and just 35 points shy of former Oklahoma Sooner Blake Griffin’s sophomore scoring record.
 
It’s been a wild postseason run for the Buffaloes after they were surprisingly left out of the NCAA tournament. Should they win, Colorado would face either Wichita State or Washington State in the NIT Finals.