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The middle of the SEC hoops standings is murky and getting murkier

Here are today’s Mizzou Links.

Narratives to me are a funny thing.

Media, and specifically sports media, are particularly good at hammering the ever living hell out of a narrative. This season Missouri has been very narrative-prone due to the Tigers’ relative hot-or-cold nature.

I say “relative” because outside of a few cold shooting games, the Tigers have largely been who they are: a deeply flawed team capable of mucking up enough games defensively that they can defeat more athletic and, at times, more talented teams. It would seem Vahe Gregorian has caught on:

But, oof, this still is an operation in its embryonic stage.

More to the immediate moment, this is a flawed team that at its best can compensate for its shortcomings but otherwise is downright vulnerable.

(And, geez, actually perhaps could prosper from the prospective return of MPJ despite some absurd theorizing out there about how he could throw off chemistry).

The lurking downside was exposed anew on Tuesday in a grimace-inducing 90-87 overtime loss to a Mississippi team that resides in the cellar of the SEC and parted ways with its coach just days ago.

A team Mizzou absolutely should have beaten, especially at home, but inexplicably wasn’t ready to do.

Vahe was smart enough not to espouse a specific number on wins needed to get Mizzou back into the NCAA tournament. This is a topic which has been tossed around, and is often tossed around this time of the season, when we get closer to selection Sunday as everyone tries to figure out who is in and who is out.

But the problem is there are probably 30 teams right now jockeying for those spots, and none of the people talking about how many wins are needed are looking at those other schedules and resumes. So it becomes arbitrary.

Case in point: Alabama lost to Auburn last night. So even with Missouri’s loss, the Tigers remain tied with Alabama (and Kentucky, Arkansas, Florida, and Mississippi State also) in conference play at 8-7. The SEC is probably going to get seven or eight teams, so SOMEONE has to get in.

And don’t bother looking at the resumes of teams in the Big 10 or the Pac 12. Losing to Ole Miss isn’t the soul crushing game many seem to think it is. Fortunately here at Rock M Nation, we’re a saner bunch.

Yesterday at Rock M

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