SEC Basketball: Missouri Tigers’ Nonconference Success is Threatening
The Missouri Tigers defeated the extremely talented North Carolina State Wolfpack 68 – 64, after falling behind early and remaining behind until late in the game. North Carolina State is a team that many expect to be on the 2014 NCAA Tournament bubble, which means that the victory will look good on the Tigers’ 2014 NCAA Tournament resume.
So far this season, the Tigers have defeated one of the best teams in the PAC-12, the UCLA Bruins, and the best team in the Big West, the Hawaii Warriors. Despite only facing a few potential NCAA Tournament caliber opponents, Missouri has been impressive in non-conference play. They’ve put up at least 65 points in every game and have three players, Earnest Ross, Jabari Brown and Jordan Clarkson, who average at least 14 points a game. The Tigers’ offense is one of the most prolific in the country and will be able to lead them to several upsets in the future.
With SEC play looming, Missouri is one of the teams considered a dark horse to win the conference. However, the Tigers still have a lot of work ahead of them, because mid-range SEC teams like the LSU Tigers, the Tennessee Volunteers, the Arkansas Razorbacks, the Ole Miss Rebels the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Mississippi State Bulldogs are all capable of making a push to the 2014 NCAA Tournament. Missouri may be a “lock” for the 2014 NCAA Tournament and the third best team in the SEC at the moment, but in college basketball that can change in a few weeks — SEC play starts in two.