Missouri’s in, and... oh god, oh no...
HAPPY MONDAY, TIGER FANS! FOR THE FIRST TIME SINCE THE 2017-18 SEASON, MISSOURI IS IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT!
That’s it, right? We just celebrate and move on with our lives? Oh, we actually have to play the games? Well, let’s just check the handy-dandy bracket here...
Nine seed? Yuck. That’s no good. But I suppose it’s fair give how we’ve played lately...
Oklahoma in the first round? Well they haven’t been too good either, so that’s a winnable game. Who’s in round tw—
Oh, dear. That’s definitely not good.
That was pretty much a summation of my thoughts whenever I initially saw the news that Missouri would be a No. 9 seed in Gonzaga’s region. To be honest, I probably wasn’t as shocked as most people when the seed was announced — let’s face it, Missouri has been pretty brutal as of late — but it still wasn’t welcome news. After all, despite the recent lack of form, Missouri still had a strong case for a better draw.
Mizzou's team sheet vs Texas Tech's team sheet, who was a 6 seed pic.twitter.com/pOMHlj29FF— ROCK Mask-up NATION (@RockMNation) March 14, 2021
Don’t like fancy, color-coded numbers? Take it from PowerMizzou, who looked at Mizzou’s average seed from BracketMatrix vs. what they actually got?
The average #Mizzou seed on BracketMatrix this morning was 6.68 on 90 brackets. Tigers got a 9. No other team in the field had a difference of more than 1.52 between the projection and the seed. In other words, Tigers had biggest difference between committee and projections.— Power Mizzou (@PowerMizzoucom) March 15, 2021
Joe Lunardi agreed, noting that the Selection Committee paid heavy attention to predictive metrics and not as much to overall team resumes.
Oh, well. I suppose the Tigers have no one to blame but themselves. Don’t want a bad seed? Don’t blow a bunch of winnable games down the stretch.
Looking ahead, Vahe Gregorian at the Kansas City Star points out how the match up against Oklahoma points to the past and (hopefully) the future. Ben Hochman argues that the Tigers, still struggling to find themselves again, need another titanic game (or series of games, please and thank you) from Jeremiah Tilmon.
Despite the late season struggles and the unfortunate seeding, however, Mizzou believes it has the necessary pieces to make a deeper-than-expected run in the tournament.
Another reason Martin and his players expressed optimism about the Tigers’ ability to make some noise in the postseason: the team has plenty of experience, especially in the backcourt. While Martin did say Missouri needs to get Tilmon playing like he did during the early part of conference play once again, he noted that the key to success in March has almost always been guard play. The Tiger guards are battle-tested, particularly Dru Smith. Even though he’s never before played in an NCAA Tournament game, Smith is a fifth-year senior who was named to the all-SEC first team and all-defense team this season.
So while the rest of us wait for Saturday night, what will Missouri be up to? Sounds like not a heck of a lot.
“They’re on those video games all day anyway, so I think it’ll be fine,” Martin said.
“They got us in a room 24/7, we can’t leave, so I’m not looking forward to that at all,” Tilmon said with a grin. “I mean I’m going to do what I gotta do to make sure I stay safe. But I don’t think none of us are looking forward to that.”
Yesterday at Rock M
- Rock-M-Tology: Happy Selection Sunday, where Mizzou comes in as a No. 7 seed. (haha whoops)
- Join Rock M Nation’s 2021 Bracket Challenge!
- Breaking News: Mizzou is a 9 seed in the West Region, faces Oklahoma
- Another successful weekend for Mizzou Softball, who moved to 19-4 with a 10-2 drubbing of Drake. Next up is North Dakota State on Wednesday before the opening series of SEC play against Georgia this coming weekend.
- Missouri Baseball finally ended a weekend with a positive note, taking three of four from Illinois State to win the program’s first series of 2021. The Tigers are now 7-10 on the season.
- If you’re looking to sign up for ESPN+, Rock M Nation now has an affiliate link: click Here for ESPN+ Now!
- If you’re looking to sign up for a new streaming service, you can try FuboTV: click HERE for FuboTV access — FuboTV now has ESPN, CBS, FS1 and more sports channels.
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