The Missouri Tigers are no strangers to Buffalo. They flew into town over the Labor Day weekend in 2008 on their way to a three-game exhibition tour in Niagara Falls, Ont. That squad featured seven newcomers, including five freshmen.
Missouri coach Mike Anderson said that trip was a key to his team's bonding process and provided the springboard to a school-record 31 wins and a surprise run to the Elite Eight in last year's NCAA Tournament.
"We had a lot of young guys on that team, so that trip was huge for us as far as getting a chance to play together in a game situation,'' said senior point guard Zaire Taylor. "I thought we came together as a team on that trip and we were able to carry it over into the season with the success we had.''