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Mizzou Draws Cincinnati in the NCAA West Regional

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Immediate thoughts:

  • MUtigers.com has tickets available for $1000-or-higher donors.  If there are leftovers, they become available to everybody else.
  • SBN has a printable bracket here.
  • Get to know Cincy fans at Down The Drive.
  • When you struggle as much as Mizzou did down the stretch, you can't expect a favorable draw.  That said ... stylistically, I'll take my chance with Mizzou's draw (Cincinnati-UConn) rather than Kansas State's (Utah State-Wisconsin).  Mizzou might not escape the first round, but I think they have a better chance of making the Sweet 16 here than they would have playing back-to-back Nebraska-only-better teams.
  • Texas a 4, Texas A&M a 7, Mizzou an 11.  According to the RPI and Ken Pomeroy's rankings, the Big 12 was the No. 3 conference in the country.  And the committee took a giant dump all over them.  Everybody but Kansas State, anyway...
  • The conspiracy theorists among us certainly got plenty of ammo when the NCAA committee, led by a Big Ten guy, had Penn State, Illinois, Michigan and Michigan State all ahead of Mizzou and way ahead of Colorado.  Not saying I'm crying conspiracy, but if you're the type...
  • I know it's more difficult for the committee to draw up the seedings than me -- they have to take into account all the rematch possibilities, plus the whole "BYU in a Thursday/Saturday region" and other random factors -- but ... there simply is no excuse for seedings this bad.  And there's no excuse for two potential Round of 32 matchups between Big East teams.  Seeding and bracketing are hard ... but not that hard.
  • Cincinnati in the first of many nutshells:

    -- Average in most regards on offense except offensive rebounding. They're great at that (10th in Off. Reb. %).  Consequently they're terrible at shooting FT's (255th at 66.6%), presumably because their bigs get fouled after offensive rebounds.

    -- Solid defensively.  They force a reasonable amount of turnovers and pretty poor shooting.  They're good-not-great on the defensive glass  Good Mizzou can score on them.  Bad Mizzou cannot.

    -- Depth: solid (37th in bench minutes).  Experience: decent (115th).  Size: good (45th).

    -- Caught a reasonable amount of skepticism after a mostly no-name non-conference slate (best wins according to KenPom: Xavier, Dayton, and ... Wright State).  But after a slow(ish) start -- 6-6 in their first 12 conference games -- they finished rather strong, winning six of seven.

    -- Common opponents: Oklahoma (they beat them by 10 on a semi-neutral court) and Georgetown (swept them).