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Rock-M-Tology: Staying at a Six

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Mizzou’s win over South Carolina doesn’t do a whole lot, but it was much needed. It’s safe to call the Tigers an NCAA Tournament lock now.

rock m tology bracketology

The Missouri Tigers picked up a much needed win on Saturday over the South Carolina Gamecocks to stop a three-game losing streak, and are now back to over .500 in conference play heading into the final stretch of the season.

Not even looking at their resume, Missouri has done exactly what a Power Five conference team needs to do to comfortably make the NCAA Tournament. Regardless of what happens on March 3 when the Tigers face the Gators on the road, the Tigers will - at minimum - have at least a .500 record on the road, a neutral court win, and at least 8 home wins. Add in six Quadrant 1 wins, and Missouri is essentially a lock to make the NCAA Tournament.

A win over South Carolina doesn’t do much to improve the Tigers’ seeding, so in the latest version of Rock-M-Tology, they are staying a No. 6 seed. What the win did do, however, was end any serious discussion of missing the NCAA Tournament altogether. I get it, things aren’t as rosy as they were a couple of weeks ago when Missouri beat Alabama to improve to 13-3 on the season; at that time, a two or three seed was in serious discussion. However, it is important to remember the minimal expectations this season— just making the NCAA Tournament was a goal— and we have that; Cuonzo Martin will be taking this Tigers program to the NCAAT for the second time in four seasons.

There is a lot of basketball left to be played and to reach a No. 5 seed, a 2-0 week at home with wins over Ole Miss and Texas A&M (if that game actually happens) is certainly needed. To get back into the top four seed range, I believe a serious run in the SEC Tournament will be necessary.

It is also important to remember that Missouri is 14-4 on the season with Jeremiah Tilmon in the lineup and 0-2 when he isn’t. I think that matters. Will it matter to the selection committee? Who knows! It’s a promising sign that Gary Parrish and Seth Davis still have Missouri in their Top 25 rankings.

And according to the latest updated projections, CBS Sports’ Jerry Palm has Missouri as a No. 4 seed (vs North Texas), ESPN’s Joe Lunardi has them as No. 6 seed vs Boise State, and our SBNation’s Chris Dobbertean has the Tigers as a lock (and a No. 5 seed vs Belmont).

TRENDING UP:

  • Duke (10-8): Not in the field yet, but the Blue Devils have won three in a row, including beating Virginia on Saturday night. There are more opportunities coming for them down the stretch.
  • San Diego State (17-4): The Aztecs have won eight in a row and have jumped into the Top 25, setting up a huge match up for first place in the Mountain West against Boise State on Thursday and Saturday this week.

TRENDING DOWN:

  • VCU (16-5): The Rams suffered a bad at home on Saturday against George Mason. Their resume is certainly lacking with zero Quadrant 1 wins and two Quadrant 3 losses.
  • Tennessee (15-6): The Vols’ inconsistencies continue as they are 3-3 in their last six games, coming off a head-scratching 15 point home loss to Kentucky.

Last Few In

These would be among the last in without their conference’s automatic bid.

  • Wichita State (13-4)
  • Colorado State (14-4)
  • UCONN (10-6)
  • Maryland (14-10)

First Few Out

  • Stanford (14-8)
  • Syracuse (13-6)
  • Duke (10-8)
  • St. John’s (14-9)

TOP 16 SEEDS:

  1. Gonzaga (22-0)
  2. Baylor (17-0)
  3. Michigan (16-1)
  4. Ohio State (18-5)
  5. Illinois (16-5)
  6. Villanova (14-3)
  7. Alabama (18-5)
  8. Iowa (17-6)
  9. Houston (18-3)
  10. Oklahoma (14-5)
  11. West Virginia (15-6)
  12. Florida State (13-3)
  13. USC (18-4)
  14. Virginia (15-5)
  15. Creighton (16-5)
  16. Kansas (17-7)

BY CONFERENCE:

Big Ten: 9

Big 12: 7

ACC: 6

SEC: 6

Big East: 5

PAC-12: 4

Mountain West: 3

Atlantic-10: 2

Missouri Valley: 2

WCC: 2

American: 2

THE BRACKET:

FIRST FOUR (Assembly Hall):

  • North Carolina A&T (8-10) vs Prairie View (7-4)
  • Wichita State (13-4) vs Colorado State (14-4)
  • Wagner (10-5) vs Grand Canyon (13-4)
  • UCONN (10-6) vs Maryland (14-10)

[REGIONAL 1]

  • No. 1 Gonzaga (22-0) vs No. 16 North Carolina A&T/Prairie View
  • No. 8 Loyola-Chicago (19-4) vs No. 9 Boise State (18-4)
  • No. 5 Purdue (15-8) vs No. 12 Toledo (18-6)
  • No. 4 Kansas (17-7) vs No. 13 Winthrop (20-1)
  • No. 6 Wisconsin (16-8) vs No. 11 Xavier (11-4)
  • No. 3 Oklahoma (14-5) vs No. 14 UC-Santa Barbara (16-3)
  • No. 7 Arkansas (17-5) vs No. 10 San Diego State (17-4)
  • No. 2 Iowa (17-6) vs No. 15 UMBC (14-5)

[REGIONAL 2]

  • No. 1 Ohio State (18-5) vs No. 16 Cleveland State (16-4)
  • No. 8 Oregon (14-4) vs No. 9 BYU (17-5)
  • No. 5 Tennessee (15-6) vs No. 12 Belmont (24-1)
  • No. 4 USC (18-4) vs No. 13 Western Kentucky (15-4)
  • No. 6 Missouri (14-6) vs No. 11 Drake (22-2)
  • No. 3 Houston (18-3) vs No. 14 Abilene-Christian (10-1)
  • No. 7 Seton Hall (13-9) vs No. 10 VCU (16-5)
  • No. 2 Illinois (16-5) vs No. 15 James Madison (13-5)

[REGIONAL 3]

  • No. 1 Baylor (17-0) vs No. 16 Wagner/Grand Canyon
  • No. 8 LSU (14-6) vs No. 9 Clemson (13-5)
  • No. 5 Texas (13-6) vs No. 12 Wichita State/Colorado State
  • No. 4 Virginia (15-5) vs No. 13 Liberty (17-5)
  • No. 6 Virginia Tech (14-4) vs No. 11 Indiana (12-10)
  • No. 3 West Virginia (15-6) vs No. 14 Texas State (15-6)
  • No. 7 UCLA (16-5) vs No. 10 North Carolina (14-7)
  • No. 2 Alabama (18-5) vs No. 15 Eastern Washington (12-6)

[REGIONAL 4]

  • No. 1 Michigan (16-1) vs No. 16 South Dakota (12-9)
  • No. 8 Florida (11-6) vs No. 9 Colorado (17-7)
  • No. 5 Texas Tech (14-7) vs No. 12 UCONN/Maryland
  • No. 4 Creighton (16-5) vs No. 13 Siena (9-3)
  • No. 6 Oklahoma State (14-6) vs No. 11 Saint Louis (11-4)
  • No. 3 Florida State (13-3) vs No. 14 UNC-Greensboro (16-7)
  • No. 7 Rutgers (12-9) vs No. 10 Louisville (11-5)
  • No. 2 Villanova (14-3) vs No. 15 Colgate (11-1)

First Glance At A Final Four:

Gonzaga, Illinois, Baylor, Villanova

Second glance: Gonzaga, Ohio State, Baylor, Michigan

Missouri’s inevitable path to destiny:

Drake, Houston, Illinois, Ohio State, Gonzaga, Baylor.....Let’s Go!