It’s NCAA tournament crunch time for the Missouri Tigers. The Tigers are considered just a No. 11 seed by many in 2014 NCAA tournament bracketology after their home win over the Tennessee Volunteers, and their tournament hopes are hanging by a thread; they almost saw everything evaporate in a game against a very talented Vanderbilt Commodores.
Vanderbilt’s Damian Jones absolutely dominated Missouri from the inside. The 6-foot-10 freshman scored 19 points and helped the team out-rebound the Tigers with seven. The Commodores looked in control for most of the game, but once again, the shooting of Jordan Clarkson came through. In a game that saw Jabari Brown only score 10 points, Clarkson chipped in with 21 en route to a 67-64 victory for the Tigers.
Missouri is lucky to have won this game. Kevin Stallings is one of the most underrated coaches in the country, and what he’s done with a very limited squad is nothing short of spectacular. The Tigers showed a lot of courage and toughness in holding the Commodores off and getting the win. They proved in this game that not only do they deserve to make the 2014 NCAA tournament, but that they have what it takes to win multiple games.
The Tigers aren’t a top team in the SEC defensively; they’re going to win most games simply by outscoring opponents. This method is not one that’s very popular in college basketball and doesn’t often lead to NCAA tournament berths. The best teams in the country are defensive teams that happen to have good offenses, however, Missouri has proven time and time again that they can win games this way.
Don’t sleep on Mizzou, because with this much talent, offense can win championships.