For Missouri coach Tim Jamieson, this wasn't just another chance.
This was his last chance.
Spanning 18 seasons as the head man in Columbia, from the Big Eight days to the digital age, Jamieson has grown fond of the conference he grew up watching.
But the guy who proudly waves the Big 12 flag is gone, heading to the SEC, just another innocent victim of the realignment mess.
And now, after Sunday's thrilling 8-7 win over Oklahoma in the Big 12 Tournament Championship, Jamieson leaves on top, with his first conference title coming in his final act.
“It's bittersweet,” Jamieson said. “Because I love coming here and I'll miss it. I even talked to my wife about when I retire, and hopefully that's a long way away, but I could see myself coming back down here and watching this tournament. It's just a great experience and I've got a lot of big-time memories, not just on the field. It's special to win the last one.”
Overall, the annual event has been good to Jamieson and his Tigers. Missouri is 25-23 all time, with four championship appearances in 14 years.
But the final day — championship Sunday — has been unusually cruel to the longtime coach.
It started in 2004, when Missouri reached the title game as a No. 7 seed.
Leading Oklahoma State 9-2 in the eighth inning, Missouri fell apart, eventually dropping the automatic bid 10-9 in 13 innings.
In 2009, Missouri battled its way to the final game again, but ran into a powerful Texas team, who won 12-7.
And last season, after weaving through a tough bracket, the Tigers were a surprising finalist again. An upstart seven-seed facing powerhouse Texas A&M.
With a chance to make the NCAA Tournament, Jamieson's squad led in the ninth inning again and had its heart broken again, blowing the lead and losing on a walk-off home run in the 10th.
So you can imagine Jamieson's worry on Sunday afternoon, when another improbable run had landed his sixth-seeded Tigers back in the championship game. Back in a dramatic ninth inning, clinging to an 8-7 lead over Oklahoma.
But this time, the wild ending went his way.
OU's Chase Simpson hit a two-out liner that drilled the foot of base runner Caleb Bushyhead, before trickling into right field. Despite an unnecessary play at the plate, the game was already over.
When the ball struck Bushyhead, Jamieson finally had his Big 12 title. And he could leave his beloved conference a happy man.
“We haven't had a lot of those at Missouri and we haven't had any in baseball,” Jamieson said. “So it meant a lot. We have been so close, right there, and we finally got over the hump. It's special in so many different ways.”