The Missouri Tigers held on to defeat the Texas A&M Aggies in the first round of the SEC Tournament with a final score of 91-83. Missouri’s tournament hopes are on the line, and it took two over times for the Tigers to get the thrilling win, advancing them to face the number 1 ranked Florida Gators.
Jabari Brown led all Tigers in scoring with this 26 on the day. It was a bit of an off day for Brown, though he was fearless when driving the ball in the lane and creating opportunities from the free throw line. He made 12 of 16 from the charity line, helping to contribute to the Tigers shooting 75% percent from the line on the day.
Missouri out rebounded A&M 48-28, which is something Missouri has struggled with all season. Johnathan Williams III lead the game with 15 rebounds, helping to contribute to the Tigers 48 rebounds on the day. Senior forward, Earnest Ross also chipped in with his 24 points in route to their double over time win.
Missouri now advances to face not only the best team in the SEC, but the best team in the country, the number 1 ranked Florida Gators in the quarterfinals of the 2014 SEC Tournament at 12:00pm CDT on ESPNU.
Missouri is likely to get blown out in this game, which is unfortunate as the Tigers are fighting for a NCAA tournament bid. These two teams met back in February, which turned out to be a pretty good game. Missouri fought the Gators back-and-forth before the Gators took over mid-way through the second half in route to a 68-58 win. Florida is just too big and talented for Missouri’s talented offense to keep up.
If the Tigers lose, they’re season is likely done as they do not have a strong enough body of work to make a case for the tournament. Missouri has struggled in conference play, a weak conference mind you, and the selection committee will recognize that. However, Missouri could change everything with a huge upset win over the number 1 ranked team in the country. Having the Gators on their resume could go a long way for the voters.
The Tigers likely will not defeat the Gators this afternoon in Atlanta. If they do lose, the Tigers should get a bid for the NIT tournament, and could be favorites to win it. Still, with the amount of talent on this Missouri team, this season has been very disappointing.