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Mizzou falls just short of NCAA Tournament

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Here are today’s Mizzou Links.

Mizzou baseball falls just short of NCAA bid

Just a few weeks ago, it looked all but certain that the Missouri Tigers would break into the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2012. And after a tough fought series against national powerhouse Vanderbilt — including the last victory over the ‘Dores in a month and a half — it looked like all the Tigers would need was one more victory.

Alas, it never came. And while their resume was arguably strong enough already, that slip was all the NCAA needed to keep the Tigers on the outside looking in.

For the seventh straight season, Missouri baseball did not earn an NCAA Tournament spot.

The 64-team bracket was revealed Monday on ESPNU and listed the Tigers as one of the first four teams out, just missing the mark to continue their season.

It’s bad enough to miss out on the NCAA Tournament, but this one is even harder to swallow for a couple of reasons.

First, the Tigers have a legitimate case to be called the biggest snub in the tournament discussion, especially if you go by Ratings Power Index, the tool used to measure a team by its wins, losses and strength of schedule.

At No. 31, Mizzou had the highest ranking in the NCAA’s Ratings Percentage Index among teams left out of the NCAA field. In fact, Mizzou had a higher RPI than the final four teams selected for the NCAA field: No. 39 Michigan, No. 44 Duke, No. 50 Florida State and No. 59 TCU. Of the bracket’s 33 at-large selections, Mizzou posted a higher RPI than 10.

But hey, it is what it is. Sometimes the committee doesn’t rule in your favor. Missouri had a good team and should be back right? Well, that’s where things get even tougher. Mizzou will likely lose its two best players to the MLB.

With the end of the season, the careers of MU stars Kameron Misner and T.J. Sikkema likely come to an end as both players are suspected to be high picks in next week’s MLB Draft.

I wrote a few weeks ago in a links post that I thought Sikkema would be back, and I still believe it would make sense for him to return for another year. However, if MLB teams want to pay him (what will certainly not be a fair wage) to play professional ball, Sikkema should go get his bag. However, it will leave Missouri without their best pitcher and a player who could be the best position player to ever come out of Columbia.

The 2019 season could ultimately prove to be a good one if Bieser is able to build on it and get the program back to an NCAA Tournament in the next year or two. On the flip side, though, it could prove to be the Tigers’ best chance at a tournament and major missed opportunity. The Tigers will have to wait out another long eight months before they have a chance to prove its the former and not the latter.

Yesterday at Rock M

More Links:

  • Vahe Gregorian wrote about Cuonzo Martin and Barry Odom, and what the two head coaches share despite their many physical differences.
  • Busy day at PowerMizzou: Gabe dropped his Monday Morning Memorial Day Thoughts ($); Sean Williams talked to one of the many uncommitted St. Louis recruits from the 2020 class ($); and A.J. Blankenship talked to Mario McKinney about getting to work in Columbia.
  • More recruiting updates from 2020 Mizzou targets:
  • Our guy cannot catch a break :(
  • Lots of stuff on the table during this week’s SEC spring meetings, including transfers, players’ rights and good ole fashioned GAMBLIN’.