NCAA Tournament Special

Missouri, a No. 11 seed, to play Cincinnati on Thursday in D.C.

Updated: 2011-03-14T02:45:56Z

By MIKE DeARMOND

The Kansas City Star

COLUMBIA | On a day filled with equal parts of speculation over the specifics of Missouri’s inpending selection to the NCAA Tournament and what effect — if any — Arkansas’ ouster of John Pelfrey as its coach might have on MU’s Mike Anderson – one thing is now known.

Missouri, 23-10, is going to start its NCAA Tournament run as a No. 11 seed against No. 6 seed Cincinnati, 25-8, in Washington, D.C., on Thursday in the NCAA West Regional. The game will tip about 8:50 p.m. and will be aired on TNT. Should Missouri win that game, the Tigers would play the winner of the UConn-Bucknell game, on Saturday.

Prior to that announcement late Sunday afternoon, Missouri athletic director Mike Alden declined to discuss plans for a contract extension that has allegedly been in the discussion stage for some time for Anderson.

Asked if MU’s fans — who each of the last two post-seasons have seen Anderson consider job interest from Georgia and Oregon before staying at Missouri — did not deserve a more definitive answer than that, Alden said:

“I probably would not respond to that,” Alden said.

That response came in the face of renewed speculation regarding who Arkansas would seek to replace Pelphrey. One ESPN analyst identified Anderson as the top target on Sunday. Another ESPN analyst said Anderson was not at the top of the Arkansas list.

Anderson recently told The Columbia Daily Tribune: “I plan on being at Missouri for a long time, retire here.”

Alden said he would take Anderson at that word.

“Mike’s always been straight-forward and forthcoming and committed to everything that we’re trying to do at Mizzou. That’s who he is as a person.”

Anderson is scheduled to address the media shortly in Columbia regards the NCAA Tournament.

To reach Mike DeArmond, call 816-234-4353 or send e-mail to mdearmond@kcstar.com.

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