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Mizzou’s stay at the SEC Tournament begins on Thursday afternoon (and hopefully lasts a few days)

Here are today’s Mizzou Links.

The SEC Tournament begins tonight in St. Louis. It’s been a pretty good year for the league, and that should mean a pretty good tournament.

No matter who lugs home the Southeastern Conference championship trophy from Scottrade Center on Sunday, Commissioner Greg Sankey figures to leave St. Louis a happy man, steward of a league with the most NCAA Tournament teams in its history. But before the NCAA brackets are unveiled Sunday, the SEC will put its rebooted star power on display for five days, starting Wednesday and lasting through Sunday’s championship game. [...]

“I don’t feel like there’s much separation from the top to the bottom,” said Georgia coach Mark Fox, whose 12th-seeded Bulldogs have three wins over second-seeded Tennessee and third-seeded Florida. “The depth in the conference has been incredibly visible to everyone, at least from the coaches’ standpoint. There’s not an easy game.”

Mizzou’s run (hopefully) will begin tomorrow around 2:30 p.m. CT.

Mizzou has a first-round bye and will face No. 12 Georgia (16-14, 7-11) or No. 13 Vanderbilt (12-19, 6-12) in second round action on Thursday, March 8, at approximately 2:30 p.m. CT on the SEC Network.

Head coach Cuonzo Martin’s squad handed defeats to both the Bulldogs and Commodores during the 2018 SEC schedule. Mizzou won at home over Georgia (Jan. 10) by a score of 68-56, with the 12-point margin of victory being the Black & Gold’s biggest win in league action. The Tigers were victorious in Nashville more recently, winning 74-66 at Vanderbilt (Feb. 27).

One guy who most certainly appreciates Missouri’s journey from the bottom of the conference to far nearer the top: Kevin Puryear.

As his mom sat in section 111 at Mizzou Arena waiting for the season to begin against Iowa State. A Missouri hype video came across the jumbotron.

Who did the voiceover? Puryear, of course.

He gave a 50-second monologue. With the arena ready to burst from excitement, Puryear ended his monologue saying: “This is Missouri basketball, and we’re back. So, welcome to the new era.”

In this new era, Puryear’s living his dream in every way possible.

The Puryears are a bit picky who they give tickets to, by the way. Hope you were clamoring for them last year, too.

The Puryear family sits in Section 111, on the eastern side of Mizzou Arena, and if you weren’t asking to use their tickets a season ago, then you cannot ask now.

“That’s the rule,” said Vicki Puryear, whose son Kevin, a junior forward for the Missouri Tigers, has begun smiling again when he greets his family after basketball games. For the first time in his college career, his team is winning.

In case you missed it yesterday, by the way, Mizzou’s Kassius Robertson (first-team all-SEC) and Jontay Porter (sixth man and all-freshman) were each honored by the conference yesterday. A one-and-done and a one-and-done’s brother carrying the team, just as we predicted back in November. *cough*

Yesterday at Rock M

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  • Meanwhile, Cuonzo Martin is putting in work for E.J. Liddell.