Missouri Tigers head coach Dennis Gates

Missouri Tigers head coach Dennis Gates greets guard Kobe Brown (24) on the sideline as Auburn Tigers faced Mizzou at Neville Arena in Auburn, Ala.

Dennis Gates got the job done during his first season at Missouri by getting the Tigers into the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament with a 24-9 record.

Mizzou, a No. 7 seed, takes on 10-seed Utah State on March 16 in Sacramento. The winner will most likely play No. 2 seed Arizona, who takes on Princeton.

“I'm very excited about our program, our players, our administration, everyone affiliated with the city of Columbia. It takes a village for these days to happen, and it is a lot of people behind the scenes who may not get the credit, and I want to thank them as well," Missouri head coach, Dennis Gates, said following the Tigers’ selection last Sunday.

The administration also rewarded Gates with a contract extension which could keep him at Missouri through the 2028-29 season.

While some Tigers’ fans think one season’s success is not enough to earn a pay jump from $2.5 million to $4 million next season, followed by annual increases of $100,000, Gates had been linked to vacancies at Georgetown and his alma mater California. His buyout figure also increased to $25.5 million.

"The city of Columbia is my home, my family loves it here and I wouldn't want to be anywhere else,” Gates said in a release after the extension was announced. My staff has done a tremendous job of supporting my dream building on the great tradition of Mizzou. I'm proud to be a Tiger and to coach at this wonderful institution.”

Mizzou has a winner in Gates. Give him what he needs and get out of his way.

Abdur-Rahim gives a hoot

Of the Black coaches featured during the NCAA Tournament, Kennesaw State University’s Amir Abdur-Rahim is a standout. A former Georgia assistant coach, Abdur-Rahim took over the perennial loser in 2019-20 and his Owls finished 1-28 and 0-15 in the Atlantic Sun Conference that season. 

The respective win totals went to three then five the next two seasons, and Abdur-Rahim’s team has now hit stride. KSU improved to 26-8 by beating Liberty 67-66 in Sunday's conference tournament championship game.

Abdur-Rahim is the younger brother of former NBA star and current NBA G League president Shareef Abdur-Rahim. He grew up in Cobb County, Georgia, where Kennesaw is located, and played high school basketball there.

"To be able to say you did something for your community, it's special," Abdur-Rahim said of his roots, and the fact his team is the only one from Georgia in the NCAA Tournament.

"I don't want to have to have people in the area drive an hour or two to have to see high-quality basketball," he said.

The tale of Texas Southern

It’s rare for a team to reach the NCAA Tournament with a losing record, but Texas Southern accomplished the feat by downing Grambling State University in the SWAC Tournament title game 61-58 last Saturday.

Texas Southern, which now stands at 14-20, finished the regular season with three straight losses. The Tigers stunned top-seeded Alcorn State in a tournament quarterfinal, then beat No. 5-seed Alabama A&M in the semis. Grambling, the No. 2 seed, had set a record with 24 wins this season and was riding an 11-game win streak before Texas Southern shocked the SWAC.

The tigers were scheduled to play Farleigh Dickinson on Tuesday in a play-in contest. The winner takes on Purdue.

Howard, 22-12, will take on West Region top seed Kansas in Des Moines, Iowa after winning the MEAC Tournament with a 65-64 win over Norfolk State It is the Bisons first conference tournament title since 1992.

The Reid Roundup

Fred Perpall, who didn’t begin playing golf until a decade ago, has been elected president of the United States Golf Association on Saturday. He becomes the first Black man to lead the organization in its 129-year history. Perpall, 48, is CEO of The Beck Group in Dallas, a commercial architecture and construction business…Tiger Woods sometimes tawdry social life took another strange turn this week. Former girlfriend Erica Herman wants a Non-Disclosure Agreement voided, claiming that a federal law that nullifies NDAs in sexual assault or harassment disputes applies. Woods’ attorneys say there has been no assault or harassment and called Herman “a jilted ex-girlfriend.” Herman sued last October after she and Woods broke up and he kicked her out of his house.


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