(KMOV.com) -- CBS Sports college basketball analyst Seth Davis told me this morning that he likes Mizzou’s chances of making a long run in the NCAA tournament. The Associated Press currently has the Tigers ranked as the 37th best team in the country.
Not very impressive for a team that’s 21-8, and has quality wins over Florida, Illinois, Mississippi and Alabama. The Tigers are second in the nation in rebounds per game and 17th in scoring average (77.1). Nobody questions Mizzou’s athleticism, but they continue to come unglued late in road games.
If the Tigers had been able to hang on to leads in the final minute of the 4th quarter they’d have additional wins at Kentucky, Arkansas, LSU and UCLA. Davis said “I think Missouri has the highest ceiling of SLU, Illinois, and Missouri. The problem could be their seeding.”
If the NCAA selection committee came out with a tournament bracket today they’d likely have Mizzou as an 8 or 9 seed. That’s a big problem for the Tigers. If they win their first game, they’d then be matched up against the number 1 seed in their regional. That’s assuming, of course, the number 1 seed beat the number 16 seed in the first round.
You can assume that, because no 16 seed has ever beaten a number 1 in the tournament. The Tigers would be better off getting a lower seed, say an 11 or 12 seed, to avoid having to play the number 1 in the second round. Crazy how that works.
Davis said he has no doubt that Missouri and Illinois will get tournament bids, even if they should stumble and a lose a couple of games in the final weeks. He believes Saint Louis U will be a 4 or 5 seed. The Billikens are currently ranked 16th. “Saint Louis U is one of the great stories you’re going to see,” said Davis. “What you love is the way this team reflects Rick Majerus.”
Davis said he believes the Billikens will eventually make the switch to the new Big East conference, but not in the first wave of teams. He said he thinks Saint Louis U. would make a nice fit for the conference, and will likely be one of the teams added in year two of the conference to get the membership up to 12 teams.