Together, this crew has recaptured the fan base in much the same way that Stewart's teams first engaged it—with relentless, energetic play. "I'm in complete support," says Stormin' Norman, whose name is painted on the Mizzou Arena floor. "They're playing the game the way good teams do, with energy. enthusiasm and intensity."
The balance sheet looks better too. The last three home games have been sellouts, and the final two are expected to be as well. "[During] the Kansas game I could feel the floor shaking," says Carroll. "I've never heard it like that."
Lyons recalled the moment and the win. "With everything that's happened here," he says, "it's like a movie."
Like every team in America, the Tigers' vision is trained on March. But for Missouri, this group's legacy is something grander. A state's confidence has been restored. A program's course has been righted. "For the older guys," says Lawrence, "it was a side goal of ours to turn this program back around. I came to games on this campus when I was a kid. I knew what it could be like. We wanted to make the school believe in the basketball team again."