Like the title says, the reason for going to this game is to say "goodby" to Brackins and Gilstrap. Although Brackins' draft stock has fallen (combined with the pool being much stronger), I don't see how he comes back another year. With Gilstrap, I'm just assuming he will be gone. Even if the NCAA ruling goes in his favor, how does he not go and play pro ball overseas or something? Who knows, maybe someone would take a flier on him in the 2nd round.
Anyhow, these are our two best players, and they deserve a nice sendoff as they move onto the next phase in their basketball careers. With how the McDermott years have gone, there may be some other players who will be playing their last game at Hilton, but we won't know who they are until after the fact. With this being a weeknight game, combined with the fact we're no good, combined with the fact we don't have a lot of seniors, I imagine this will be one of the worst attended conference games at Hilton (in terms of butts in seats) in a very long time.
With regards to the game, it all depends on how the Tigers play. If they come out how they did in Columbia against us, I'd think we'd have a nice chance at winning the game. If they come out how they did against, say, Colorado recently, then we're toast.
I do think that Brackins will give it his all, but as he's shown this year, when he tries too hard, the results aren't good. ISU is 0-11 against RPI Top 50 teams, and Mizzou is at #34. Hard to expect a win with how things are going.
When the year wraps up, especially when it didn't go well like this, it's kind of depressing. March Madness is one of my favorite things in all of sports. You have tons of excitement and buildup to one of the greatest events. This is a time when many schools are excited and jockeying for position. Where schools on the bubble are trying to make that big run.
And we as Cyclone fans can't partake in any of the fun...... For the 5th year in a row.
Instead, we're staring at a 3-13 conference season, an 11th place finish, and a likely first round Big 12 Tournament exit. When we go to bed a week from Wednesday, the season will be over. But let's get real. This season was over, a long time ago.
With that said, I'll be rooting for Brackins and Gilstrap to put end their playing days in Hilton on a positive note. Maybe we can shock the world, or something.
Game tips off tomorrow (Tuesday), at 7pm CST on your local Big 12 Basketball Affiliate and/or ESPN360/FC.