(Missouri Basketball App) – Even though many believed Mizzou was safely in the NCAA tournament prior to the victory over Florida, the upset win will put some minds at ease.
The Tigers went into Tuesday contest against the Gators with a respectable RPI (38) and a strength of schedule (62) that was not terrible. ESPN’s Joe Lunardi projected Mizzou to be a #9 seed.
Despite both the experts and facts, Tiger fans had their doubts. Frank Haith’s team may not have been on the bubble prior to Monday’s win, but it was beginning to feel like it.
The Tigers lacked a signature win. Their most impressive win this season came against Illinois, an overachieving bubble team. Mizzou has several close agonizing losses that should have been resume building wins.
The outcome against the Gators will not change the heartbreak that has been a theme of this season but will ultimately help their resume.
Before Tuesday, many fans were looking at the rest of the schedule and feeling nervous. The re-match with Billy Donovan’s crew may be at home but that will most likely end in loss; because playing the road has been such a challenge, the Tigers will go down in defeat at Kentucky (even w/o Noel) and South Carolina; even though it might be a struggle, Mizzou will beat Suitcase Mike and the Razorbacks before having little trouble with LSU; the season will probably end with road loss against Tennessee.
Had this scenario played out, Mizzou would have finished the regular season 20-11. Even one win in the SEC Conference Tournament would have everyone thinking bubble trouble.
A win over the the fifth ranked team in the country is just what the doctor ordered to put those thoughts to rest.