After a slightly above average regular season, which ended for Mizzou losing five of six, the Tigers still wound up in the NCAA Tournament. It’s great they got in, but I don’t see them going far at all; they might get bounced in the first round against Cincinnati.
The players and head coach Mike Anderson are optimistic about a run they can make in the tournament; I ask, how can they be optimistic? Besides a handful of games, time after time, Mizzou disappointed this season. The Tigers beat the teams who they were supposed to beat, yet sometimes they didn’t, but I thought this team would have dug down deep one game and pulled out an upset; for example versus Kansas, but instead the Tigers lost both times, the first game by 17 points.
To play devils’ advocate to my own argument that I don’t expect Mizzou to go far in the tournament, it is March Madness and literally anything can happen, and that’s what makes this the most exciting month in sports. The Tigers will have to play nearly flawless basketball to make a run. The Tigers are a quick team so their press must be able to create turnovers which need to lead to points. It seems each team has one player who catches fire during the tournament and can be that “x-factor;” I think that player needs to be Kim English. He averaged 10.2 points per game during the regular season, but he does have the capabilities to heat up. In a win versus Colorado on February 5th, English dumped in 21.
The perfect storm needs to come together for Mizzou to succeed in the NCAA Tournament, but since the Tigers won just one conference road game this year, I see an early exit for Mizzou.