Go Get That Banner!
Robin Pingeton’s Tigers are WNIT-bound and were announced as an at-large team for the 32-team tourney. According to the press release, Mizzou will join two other SEC teams— Florida (11-13) and Ole Miss (11-11), as well as regional rival SLU (12-4), who, like the Tigers, dealt with a slew of Covid-related issues this season.
If you recall, following Missouri’s hard-fought battle with Alabama in the SEC Tourney, Robin Pingeton said, “If this is a WNIT year, then by golly, let’s go get a banner.”
Well, Robin, it’s time!
This is the eighth NIT appearance in the school’s history, and the fourth under Head Coach Robin Pingeton. According to the press release at MUTigers.com, Mizzou’s best WNIT run came in 2015 when they made it to the Round of 16, following wins over Northern Iowa and Kansas State.
With changes made to the format due to Covid, each team is guaranteed at least two games. The tournament will be streamed via FloHoops beginning Friday, March 19.
More info will be updated here as it becomes available, including the full bracket, Missouri’s opponent, and when/where they are scheduled to play. But until then, congrats, ladies!
The bracket is here! Let’s take a look at it as a whole.
And then let’s zoom in on the Fort Worth region, where Missouri will play at least two games. Obviously hoping for more to GET THAT BANNER.
First up for the Tigers will be a 2pm CT matchup in Fort Worth against Fresno State. Looking at the NET rankings, Missouri (9-11, 5-9 SEC) came in at 35th overall, while Fresno State, of the Mountain West conference (16-10, 12-6 Mtn W), came in 81st overall. They are winners of three of their last six, with their best win coming over the overall Mountain West conference champ, New Mexico (No. 54 in NET) in the conference tournament.
Comparison-wise, according to the NET, Fresno State averages 77.9PPG, as compared to Missouri’s 74.8, but keep in mind the differences in conferences— the SEC is a gauntlet. Missouri ranks 7th in the NET in FG% with 48%, compared to Fresno State’s 45%, so that’s pretty even. And while Missouri ranks 5th in the NET in 3PT% with 39%%, Fresno State is 30th with 36%. Looks like we could see a decent shooting match up on Friday!
Should Missouri advance past the Bulldogs, they will play the winner of Arizona State (11-10, 6-9 PAC-12, 95th NET) and Rice (18-7, 12-2 C-USA Group B, 65th NET) on Saturday at 5pm.
Let’s go, Tigers!