Welcome to a Tiger tale on the back end of the afternoon session as the Clemson Tigers take on the Missouri Tigers at HSBC Arena. The Clemson band just serenaded the folks here with "Eye of the Tiger". Betting we'll hear that a lot the next 2 1/2 hours.
Nolan Richardson disciple Mike Anderson leads Mizzou while Clemson is coached by Oliver Purnell, a familiar face to St. Bonaventure fans from his days at Dayton. Tipoff is at 2:50.
By the way, West Virginia's 77-50 win over Morgan State in the opener was the most lopsided game in the NCAA's four trips here; the record was 26 points in Temple's 73-47 win over Lafayette in 2000.
It's over: Mizzou wins, 86-78. Plays West Virginia Sunday.
39.8, Mizzou, 82-78. Mizzou blows a layup and Stitt drills a trey to keep Clemson alive.
3:45, Mizzou 73-66. The lead has been as big as 11 and time is running out on Clemson. If you're thinking toward end-game situations, Mizzou hits 72.8 percent from the line for the season and is 16 for 22 today -- 72.7. Among the starters, only Ramsey is below 70 percent.
7:28, Mizzou, 65-55. At another timeout, it's a double-digit lead for the first time. Clemson has not scored in nearly four minutes.
8:10, Mizzou, 63-55. A Bowers alley-oop dunk off a Tiller pass after Ramsey stripped Booker has put Missouri in control. The Clemson bigs simply aren't getting the job done in this one.
11:47, Mizzou, 56-52. Kim English has drilled back-to-back three-pointers to give Missouri a bit of a cushion and a charge with 12:08 left on Clemson guard Demontez Stitt has sent him to the bench with four fouls.
15:58: Clemson 46-45. The Missouri mascot needs a new costume. Bucky Gleason just said it looks like something off the cereal box. A dingy yellowish getup that's hardly ferocious. You can't call the orange jacket of Clemson coach Oliver Purnell dingy, that's for sure. Great performances from both sets of cheerleaders in this one however. And I'm still bowing to the greatness of the Morgan State band, which was easily the best part of the final 20 minutes of the opener.
16:05: Clemson 46-45. Pair of dunks by Jerai Brant have the crowd going as Clemson has stopped throwing the ball all over the place thus far.
Of note: Crazy stat sheet from the opening 20 minutes. Clemson hit 14 of 27 from the field -- but made 14 turnovers. The Tigers were 8 of 13 from three-point land, missing their last three. Mizzou had 12 steals and a 16-1 edge in points off turnovers. Mizzou also had a 12-2 edge in fast-break points. Keith Ramsey leads Mizzou with 12 points. Andre Young has 13 off the bench for Clemson.
Half: 39-39. Young scored Clemson's final four points of the half to give him 13. Clemson was 8 for 10 from three-point range in the half and finished 8 for 12. But all that hot shooting gets canceled out by 14 turnovers.
3:19: 35-35. We're sitting right next to the CBS table and I just easily heard Gus Johnson exclaim, "They're playing above the rim!" Trevor Booker, Clemson's 6-7 senior, sure was as he just slammed home an Andre Young miss to tie the score. Mizzou had wiped out its nine-point deficit with a 14-3 run keyed mostly by Clemson turnovers.
6:34: Clemson, 28-26. Clemson hit turnover trouble on two straight possessions and Mizzou put together a quick 7-0 run to get back in the game. The building remains packed as it appears most of the West Virginia fans have stayed to get a glimpse at what they have to deal with on Sunday. Mountaineers assistant Billy Hahn, the former LaSalle head man, is behind me in the scout seat on press row taking copious notes on that one. If he's like the rest of us, he's writing fast-fast-fast.
8:55: Clemson, 28-19. Clemson has already hit seven threes in this one and there's not a lot Mizzou is going to be able to do if that continues. Clemson only hits about 33 percent for the season -- and was 12 of 44 from beyond the arc in its last two games. Young's third trey gives him nine points and his season average is just 8.9.
11:57: Clemson, 19-15. Backup guard Andre Young has spurred the offense after starter David Potter went to the bench with two fouls in the first 2:08. Young, meanwhile, has canned two threes and fed Tanner Smith for a layup to personally take care of an 8-1 burst. Clemson has already hit four threes in the game. We're all going to have sore necks watching these two teams run back and forth. Awesome stuff so far.
15:38 left: As advertised, this one figures to be a track meet. Missouri's pressure is already giving Clemson fits as the Tigers are on an 8-0 run to take a 10-6 lead. OOPS. Can't say Tigers in this blog or story or you'll have no clue. Mizzou leads, 10-6. Best play of the day so far was a rim-rocking jam by Clemson center Jerai Grant that had the folks hooting in their seats.