COLUMBIA — Zaire Taylor’s overtime shot Tuesday night at Iowa State not only won the game, it might have sealed the Missouri men's basketball team’s NCAA Tournament chances.
A loss to Iowa State could have popped the Tigers' tournament bubble. Now, with 10 wins and just one game left in the season, the Tigers are tied for third in the Big 12, the No. 1-ranked conference in the nation. As Taylor's shot fell through the basket, the question might have changed from if Missouri will make the tournament to what seed it will receive.
With a key win against then-No. 10 Kansas State and nonconference wins over Illinois and Old Dominion, Missouri’s (22-8, 10-5) tournament resume is looking stronger every week. Though the NCAA men's tournament selection committee doesn't finalize its choices until March 14, ESPN TV analyst Steve Lavin projects the Tigers as a lock for the tournament. They possess the three main attributes the committee uses to select teams. They have the quality wins, play in a strong conference and can impose their tempo on opponents.
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