The Missouri Tigers were a team fresh off winning the Big 12 Tournament Championship. They earned a two seed in the West region and had a first round match up against the 15 seed Norfolk State who won the MEAC Tournament. Frank Haith in his first year was everyone’s darling, especially in the media. He took a team with mediocre pre-season expectations to a Final Four favorite. A lot of pundits had the Tigers making it to New Orleans.
Well something funny happened on the way to the Superdome. Norfolk State pulled a huge upset knocking off Missouri 86-84 and the Tigers are forced to go home early. For the Missouri players it’s a darn shame, they had a great season and should be proud of their accomplishments. They are the collateral damage of their coach’s karma.
Frank Haith got to walk the sidelines freely the whole season with a smile, while several of his former Miami Hurricane players had to sit for taking improper benefits during his tenure in Coral Gables. First it was DeQuan Jones, who missed 10 games. Then it was center Reggie Johnson who missed one game. Then it was the team’s leading scorer Durand Scott, who was suspended on the day they were schedule to play Florida State in the ACC Tournament. Miami would lose and it cost them an NCAA Tournament bid.
For Miami fans Frank Haith are two bad words when said together. He was a mediocre coach who bailed to take another job and left the land scorched for the next guy to clean up. When you have three players suspended for taking improper benefits there’s a program issue. Haith didn’t have control over his players, but served no penance for his time at Miami. With the NCAA being such a fraudulent organization we can’t expect justice from them. All Miami fans could hope for was Karma, and they got it in spades. They are celebrating big time down in Norfolk, but they are also lighting up cigars in Coral Gables. Miami has made it further than Missouri in the post season and that is sweet justice.