By now, I’m numb to Mizzou’s notorious losing streak in SEC basketball. I have no emotions … and no solutions, either. This historic skid is so ridiculous, so remarkable, that I’ve come to appreciate the longshot magnitude of it all. You have to be spectacularly bad to go 0-17.

And to have this happen in the follow-up season that featured 25 wins, an appearance in the NCAA Tournament appearance and a victory in the opening round – how is this even possible?

Well … you can get it done in many ways.

In conference games you rank 12th among the 14 SEC teams in adjusted offensive efficiency and dead last in adjusted defensive efficiency. In SEC matchups you’re 11th in three-point shooting accuracy, and 13th at defending three-point shooting. You’re the worst in the SEC at grabbing offensive rebounds, and also the worst at preventing opponents from storming inside to snatch offensive rebounds. You go from having the No. 1 turnovers-forced percentage in NCAA Div I in 2022-2023 to ranking 80th nationally this season.

You flunk the test in the transfer portal and don’t bring in enough talent to keep the program humming. You go from being a proud No. 9 nationally in adjusted offensive efficiency last season to sinking to the No. 194 offensive ranking this season. You don’t play consistently sturdy defense, a reason behind two double-digit leads slip away to Ole Miss and Vandy. Your freshman haven’t done much. Your promising sophomore (Aiden Shaw) hasn’t developed as hoped in his second time around the SEC.

Despite having strong fan support at Mizzou Arena, you go winless (0-9) in SEC home games. My goodness. That never happened to Kim Anderson, who went 8-46 overall in the SEC. Those Tiger teams won at least two SEC home games in each of Anderson’s three seasons as coach (2014-2017). And if you’re 0-17 in the conference, the coaching went from being a strength to a weakness in one seasonal cycle. Best wishes for a comeback next season, Dennis Gates.

How bad has it been for Mizzou this season? My curious mind went on a short research binge earlier Wednesday. I wanted to see how often Missouri had the lead in a game during their 0-17 freefall to SEC rivals.

I have some answers:

  • MU has led for 109 minutes and 47 seconds.
  • Their opponents have led for 534 minutes and 38 seconds.

Or if you prefer:

  • SEC opponents have led Missouri for 8 hours, 54 minutes and 38 seconds.
  • MU has held the lead for 1 hour, 49 minutes and 28 seconds.

Missouri has owned the lead for more minutes in an entire game in just one SEC contest this season — an overtime loss at home to South Carolina.

The Tigers have played 685 game-clock minutes of SEC hoops this season. I did not include the amount of time when games were tied. This exercise was just about clocking Missouri’s time spent with the lead, and Missouri’s time when trailing and laboring to catch up. That’s a lot of sweat … and no wins.

Can Missouri bust the hideous streak?

There’s one more chance.

And if Mizzou loses its final regular-season game Saturday at LSU, the program will go winless in conference competition for the first time since being shutout (0-5) in the Missouri Valley Conference in 1907-1908. (Source: Sports Reference.)

Missouri coach A.M. Ebright – you can call him “Mills” – did not return for a second year. He moved across state lines to coach Kansas U’s baseball’s team and went 8-12. Mills Ebright soon changed careers and practiced law in Wichita. I do not know his won-lost record in a court of law.

Thanks for reading …


A 2023 inductee into the Missouri Sports Hall of Fame, Bernie hosts an opinionated and analytical sports-talk show on 590 The Fan, KFNS. It airs 3-6 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 4-6 p.m. on Friday. Stream it live or grab the show podcast on or through the 590 The Fan St. Louis app.

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