Let’s get it, ladies!
The WNIT is here! And Mizzou will take on Fresno State today at 2pm. You can watch on FloHoops (which costs money, so that sucks), but fans should be able to listen on the MUTigers app like normal, it appears. This is the first time Mizzou will ever face the Bulldogs, but according to MUTigers.com, Shannon Dufficy (Utah State) is familiar. In her three years in the Mountain West, she averaged 10.4 points and 9.8 rebounds against Fresno State.
Let’s look at the matchup (some of which is copied from my post earlier in the week):
Looking at the NET rankings, Missouri (9-11, 5-9 SEC) is No. 35, while Fresno State, (16-10, 12-6 Mtn W), is no. 81. The Bulldogs 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. Had they beaten Wyoming in the conference finals (they lost 58-56), they would have received an automatic bid to the NCAA Tourney.
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 today!
Looking at Missouri’s season, they lost a bunch of close games to ranked opponents. Five the Tigers’ nine SEC losses came by a combined (!) 25 points, and all of them were to tourney teams.
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. Losing would mean they would play the loser of that ASU/Rice at 11am Saturday.
LET’S GO, TIGERS!!!!
If you are looking for more pregame reading, check out Matter’s post on the team, and how they are hoping their WNIT performance propels them to a bright future. Eric Blum also wrote about Pingeton’s Tigers, saying they are rested and ready for the games ahead, while Shannon Mia Belt wrote that the Tigers hope to sniff out the Bulldogs in their first game of the WNIT.
Unrelated to women’s hoops... Anyone else relive their nightmares watching Norfolk State last night? Every time they hit a three, I swear I broke out in hives. It’s still too soon. It will ALWAYS be too soon. #neverforget
On to the LINKS!!! 710 days later, and the NCAA TOURNEY IS BACK!!!
Yesterday at Rock M
- Sam looked at how Mizzou handled close games and late game situations.
- Aaron reminded us that Connor Bazelak is still Mizzou’s QB of the future.
- In a wrestling fan post, JoeDog3 told us what to expect of the NCAA Wrestling Championships, and a very lively discussion took place in the 400+ comments.
- IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: I wrote how to watch our Mizzou Tigers tomorrow. In a piece I LOVED, Sam looked at how the committee used analytics incorrectly.
- COMING UP: Sam tells us what’s on the docket in the tourney today and Josh previews the Oklahoma game.
- PowerMizzou: With the news that OL Mike Ruth is out (and it sounds like no longer playing football), Gabe has a new unofficial scholarship chart. For subscribers, Gabe went in-depth on an Oklahoma DL who is starting to take visits.
- Columbia Missourian: Emily Leiker caught up with former Tiger Jordan Harold, who’s family and faith led him to Fan-Controlled Football. She also wrote about Saturday’s spring game, and what fans should expect.
- KC Star: Blair Kerkhoff wrote that Aussie Ben Key is looking to become the new wrecking ball of Missouri’s defensive line.
- Looking good, guys!
- Kansas City Star (READ THESE): Vahe Gregorian looked at how Dru Smith became Mizzou’s most trusted player at the most crucial time and why Cuonzo Martin is stressing the benefits of playing in a bubble for peace of mind, serenity, and the opportunity to get away from the season’s anxiety and pressure. Blair Kerkhoff wrote about the Gene Keady influence on coach Cuonzo Martin and his Tigers team. THESE ARE ALL MUST READS. SERIOUSLY.
- St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Dave Matter’s back with a new weekly chat, talking a lot of hoops and football. Matter explained why the Cuonzo Martin - Barry Odom comparisons don’t hold water, and wrote about the Sooners’ dynamic duo, who Mizzou will have to get through to have NCAA Tourney success.
- PowerMizzou: Mitchell Forde wrote that “Do-everything Dru” leads Mizzou back to the NCAA Tournament.
- KOMU: Ben Arnett wrote about the “underdog” Tigers, who are trying to get their first March Madness win in 11 years.
- Columbia Missourian: Tyler Hollins looked at Cuonzo Martin’s historical performance in the NCAA Tournament.
- The Maneater: Mason Arneson examined the West regional section of the bracket, and looked at where Mizzou stands, while Jack Soble scouted Oklahoma, who has a do-it-all facilitator and a four-guard lineup.
- This is cool.
On Saturday, Oklahoma will plays its first NCAA Tournament game since the passing of Billy Tubbs.— Oklahoma Basketball (@OU_MBBall) March 18, 2021
Only fitting that its against Missouri. pic.twitter.com/fFkT1gjclC
- Bubble Life, presented by Torrence Watson, with some singing by Javon Pickett:
Other Mizzou Sports
- SOFTBALL: Mizzou Softball starts SEC play this weekend, and has got Georgia on their minds.
- BASEBALL: In Reid Glenn’s SEC baseball preview, he wrote the league is once again loaded with top talent.
- TENNIS: Looks like they got stuck in a storm when they were trying to practice for the Liz Murphy Open in Athens. YIKES! Read the preview at MUTigers.com.
- WRESTLING: After 2 rounds, TigerStyle sits in third place, and four Tigers are continuing on to the quarterfinals for a chance at national titles — Brock Mauller, Allen Hart, Keegan O’Toole, and Matthew Schmitt, while several others are still alive in consolation brackets —according to Grace Taylor’s recap for KOMU. The competition starts this morning at 9am in St. Louis. You can also check out MUTigers.com’s recap or Lee Russell of the Missourian’s recap.
- SWIMMING: It was a great Day One for the Tigers at the NCAA Championships as Sarah Thompson took third in the 50 Free in school record time, becoming just the THIRD Tiger to ever finish in the top 3 at the NCAAs. The 200 Free Relay took fourth, matching their best ever relay finish. Megan Keil also earned All-American honors with her 9th place finish in the 50 Free. Savana Trueb sits in 24th place after prelims in the 1-meter event. (More info at MUTigers.com)
“I’m very happy with our first day. The way we kicked this night off with an amazing 200 free relay, with a school record and fourth-place at NCAAs. We carried the energy throughout the session. Megan Keilgetting ninth in the B final really lifted the team up as well and got everyone amped up for Sarah Thompson in the A final, where she walked away with third-place. It was an awesome night and I can’t wait to get going tomorrow.”
Mizzou in the Pros News
- In The Denver Post’s new Nuggets Ink podcast, Mike Singer and Matt Schubert discuss the ascension of Michael Porter, Jr.
- Robert Marvi of HeatNation wrote about how much D Wade loves Jordan Clarkson’s game. I recommend checking out the videos included. Here’s hoping that JC is the Sixth Man of the Year, because he deserves it.
- The Jazz is celebrating the NCAA Tourney by sharing some #TBT photos of their players in the tourney. Hey there, JC!
- Chase Daniel is back on the market.
- Soph is the Mercury’s highlighted Player of the Week:
Sophie at @MizzouWBB— Phoenix Mercury (@PhoenixMercury) March 18, 2021
◻️Mizzou's all-time leader in PTS (2,187) and FTM (537)
◻️2nd in program history 3FG (590) and 4th in PPG (17.0)
◻️3x All-SEC First Team
◻️4 straight NCAA Tournament appearances
◻️2019 All-America Third Team#MercPlayerWeek x #TBT pic.twitter.com/NVh1ZUytk3
If you’re looking to sign up for ESPN+, Rock M Nation now has an affiliate link: click Here for ESPN+ Now! (By the way, this link works fine on my iPad, which is where I write my links. I checked)
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.
(** RockMNation has affiliate partnerships. These do not influence editorial content, though RockMNation may earn commissions for products purchased via affiliate links.**)