COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) _ Earlier in his career, the sudden rise for
third-ranked Missouri might have simply ratcheted up the pressure
for coach Gary Pinkel.
But the Tigers' coach is a lot warmer and fuzzier these days,
even with the biggest game of his life looming.
Missouri's neutral-site, sold-out matchup against Number 2
Kansas in Kansas City tomorrow night for the Big 12 North title is
an event he wants to savor.
Pinkel calls the lead up to the a game ``a blast.''
The attitude is much different than when Pinkel struggled to get
Missouri back on its feet in his first handful of seasons.
The stress of the challenge showed in his lack of a sense of
humor and open defiance at the podium, especially during the 2004
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)