MISSOURI vs MISSISSIPPI
When: 9 p.m.
TV: KCMO (Ch. 62)
First Round: bye
Second Round: Missouri 62, Texas A&M 50
vs. Mississippi: Tied 1-1 (Jan. 12: 64-49, Ole Miss; Feb. 9: 98-79, MU)
Line: Missouri -4.5, O/U 153
KenPom Projection: Missouri 80, Mississippi 76 (64%)
After cruising to a 12 point victory that felt more like 30 over Texas A&M, Missouri will now face Ole Miss – a team they brawled with a month ago in Columbia.
Defense was the key to the game for Mizzou, holding Texas A&M to just 24.1% shooting from the field and 21.4% from inside the arc. Nineteen turnovers prevented Missouri from running away with the game earlier, but the game was never really in doubt.
Ultimately, Mizzou got the easy win they needed against the Aggies, with Laurence Bowers, Alex Oriakhi, Phil Pressey, and Jabari Brown all getting at least eight minutes of game-time on the bench. Foul trouble doubled that time for Bowers and Oriakhi. The rest is huge given the length of the SEC tournament and having to play an extra game in comparison to Ole Miss, Kentucky, Florida, and Alabama.
Attention now turns to Marshall Henderson and the Rebels, who haven’t played a game since Saturday. The late game on the third day of a tournament can sometimes be more of a curse than a benefit for a high seeded team, and getting off to a fast start might be something Missouri will want to take advantage of. In their last matchup Missouri drained over half of their three-point attempts and out-rebounded Ole Miss 50-32, including 22 offensive rebounds. If Missouri can control the glass the way they did in Columbia and contain Murphy Holloway in the paint, the Tigers should be able to win this game.
Should Missouri win, they will face the winner of the Kentucky/Vanderbilt matchup. Vanderbilt won the SEC tournament last season.
Prediction: Missouri 82, Mississippi 73