5 Reasons Why Missouri Won’t Make The NCAA Tournament
5 Reasons Why Missouri Won't Make The NCAA Tournament
Entering the 2013-14 college basketball season, the Missouri Tigers lost a majority of their star players that elevated their program. The Tigers, in the past two years under coach Frank Haith, have failed to reach the round of 32, making this a highly-scrutinized year. There's really no doubt that the Tigers are a quality program that should be able to reach the tournament year after year, but 2013-14 is more troublesome than most expected in the preseason.
Early in the season, it appeared that the Tigers were going to ease their way into the tournament. Missouri started 10-0 with wins over decent teams like West Virginia, UCLA, and Western Michigan. An inexplicable loss to Illinois not only derailed their perfect record, but exposed the Tigers later on in the year. Since the 10-0 start, the Tigers have gone only 9-8 since, which is inexcusable for a team with a star player like Jabari Brown.
The Tigers have a chance to turn it around with several wins in the SEC Tournament, but given their mediocre season so far, the Tigers have let tournament fate rest in the hands of the Selection Committee. Here are five reasons why the Missouri Tigers will not make the NCAA tournament.
5. Only 1-2 vs. Top 50 RPI Teams
The Missouri Tigers have played only three games against teams that are in the top 50 in terms of RPI. Two of these teams were in-conference foes in Florida and Kentucky. The Tigers' only win was early in the season against a UCLA team that has been better since that game. Sometimes, early-season wins get lost in the discussion as the committee focuses majorly on how a team performs in February and March rather than November and December.
4. Poor Conference Record
With the SEC being among the poorest conference in all of college basketball, a good team like Missouri should be able to stack their conference record with easy wins. The Tigers have losses against the top three teams in the conference (Georgia joins Florida and Kentucky atop the conference) and have only one double-digit win against a conference foe.
2. Didn't Beat The Best Of The SEC
In Missouri's two biggest games of the year, the Tigers failed to produce. Against Kentucky, the Tigers had the game in hand at home but let that one get away, losing 84-79. On the road against Florida, the Tigers also had some early success against the Gators, but could not seal the deal as the Gators won rather easily 68-58. A win in one of these games would have cemented Missouri's tournament berth.
1. Zero Signature Wins
There are zero wins that the Tigers have accumulated this year that will vault them over other bubble teams. Wins against West Virginia, Arkansas, Tennessee and Vanderbilt won't be good enough this year as several bubble teams have more impressive wins on their respective resumes. Missouri can turn it around in the conference tournament, but given their mediocre play this season, it's highly unlikely that the Tigers will make the NCAA tournament.