Mizzou Basketball not apart of Big 12/SEC Challenge for 2017 season

Feb 14, 2017; Athens, GA, USA; A general view of the SEC logo at Stegeman Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports
Feb 14, 2017; Athens, GA, USA; A general view of the SEC logo at Stegeman Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports /

Mizzou basketball appears to be rounding a corner that should turn them into legitimate contenders in the SEC this season. For some reason, however, the Tigers were left off the Big 12/SEC Challenge for the 2017-2018 season.

Expectations for Mizzou basketball are at an all-time high for Tiger fans, as the university has locked down some of the top recruits in the country for their 2017-2018 squad. Those names are highlighted by Michael Porter Jr, his brother Jontay Porter, Blake Harris, and Jeremiah Tillman, all of whom will make the Tigers a team to watch this season.

With all of that said, however, the Missouri Tigers were not included in the Big 12/SEC Challenge, which is shocking considering they have hype surrounding them for the first time in over three years.

While MU fans are stoked for the upcoming basketball season (and why shouldn’t they be?), Missouri athletic director Jim Sterk addressed why the Tigers likely weren’t selected to be apart of the event (quote courtesy of Tod Palmer of The Kansas City Star),

"“The SEC, working with the event’s television partner, ESPN, annually selects the teams that will represent our conference in the Challenge, and one of the key factors in determining the SEC’s entrants is a program’s recent on-court performance, which is certainly understandable,” first-year MU athletic director Jim Sterk said in a statement.More from KC KingdomWin $650 GUARANTEED Plus $100 Off NFL Sunday Ticket With Caesars, FanDuel and DraftKings Kansas Promos!This Plus-Money Bobby Witt Jr. Prop Bet is on Fire (Hit in 15/21 Games)!How to Bet on the Chiefs vs. Cardinals in NFL Preseason Week 2The Royals Need to Extend Bobby Witt Jr. ImmediatelyThe 3 Most Intriguing Games on the Chiefs’ Schedule"

It makes sense when you think back to just how bad Missouri was on the court over the past three years, but college basketball fans won’t be seeing those same MU Tigers this year. It’ll be a competitive team who will make a run at the SEC title and certainly should make it into the NCAA Tournament.

For those wondering about the notable match-ups in the Big 12/SEC Challenge, it’ll be Kansas hosting Texas A&M, Kansas State hosting Georgia, and Kentucky visiting West Virginia.

With the Big 12 only having ten teams, a few SEC schools were going to be left off this list. Mizzou being one of those schools, however, was a bit of a shock, but they haven’t been a team to watch for some time now.

Still though, with the Tigers previously being apart of the Big 12, it’s hard not to be upset about this decision. It’s been made public knowledge that Kansas head coach Bill Self doesn’t want to play Missouri, but what about Kansas State? The Wildcats will be squaring off against Georgia instead, which won’t be exciting at all. At least there would be history in an MU/K-State match-up.

Missouri should make it next season, but a lot of their top recruits will be gone by that point and the team probably won’t be as good. This would have been a fun tournament for Mizzou basketball fans and it’s a shame they will have to be on the outside looking in.