RF: Teams that rely heavily on the press usually fizzle out in the NCAA Tournament. In most instances teams get to the Big Dance because they have great guard play and a press won’t bother them this late in the season. (That is, as opposed to how a devastating press can overwhelm teams in November and December.) Why or why won’t this affect Missouri this postseason?
RMN: I assume you’re referring mostly to Tennessee and Clemson as far as teams relying heavily on the press. Just looking at 2008, both of those teams ran into matchup problems in the NCAAs–Tennessee playing Louisville (a team with a deep backcourt that loves to run and pressure) and Clemson playing Villanova (who would play six guards at once if they could). That’s what the case will be with Missouri.
Let’s look at it this way. Assume for now that Mizzou gets a 4-seed in the tourney. They could get a 3 or 5 (or, technically, worse if they lose out), but we’ll go with 4. If they play a 13-seed like VCU, with good guards of their own, they might be in for a battle (though I’d point out that Missouri has yet to lose to a mid-major opponent under Mike Anderson, unless you count Xavier, who is a national program at this point). But a team like American will get rolled. In the second round, they could draw somebody like Marquette or Villanova, which would be major trouble. But if they drew, say, a Purdue or a Washington, I think they’d match up well.
Check out the whole thing. Thanks, Doc's.