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NCAA Tournament bracket preview may have positioned Missouri for hard Selection Sunday fall

There are some information in faculty basketball which are outstanding and sacred, like Pete Maravich’s 44.2-point profession scoring common or UCLA’s 88-game profitable streak.

There are some which are obscure and repellant, like Oklahoma’s “achievement” of falling farthest within the remaining NCAA Tournament bracket after initially being included within the choice committee’s official February bracket preview.

There have been 64 groups unveiled within the 4 years that the committee has been unveiling the highest 4 seeds in every area a month prematurely of Selection Sunday. Of these, Oklahoma’s drop from a No. 4 seed to a No. 10 in 2018 marks the most important decline for a group included.

MORE: March Madness bracket predictions

Missouri (13-6) will probably be trying to keep away from flirting with that disagreeable distinction when it performs the primary of its 4 remaining scheduled video games at South Carolina (5-10) Saturday afternoon. The Tigers then will have bubble contender Ole Miss, struggling Texas A&M and certain at-large choice Florida left to play.

Mizzou was the final of the 16 groups included on the choice committee’s bracket preview, and that was the very best second of its previous two weeks. There have been three consecutive losses, dropping the group’s NET rating to forty third. In the BracketMatrix.com consensus of greater than 100 bracket projections — simply six days after the committee declared the Tigers to be a top-four seed — they had been all the way in which right down to No. 6.

The bracket preview would possibly appear to be an train in public relations for the NCAA, a chance to hype its most essential annual occasion and one of many showpieces of the CBS Sports calendar. Its previous 4 editions, although, reveal that what’s stated in February holds up pretty properly on Selection Sunday.

Using the Bracket Matrix remaining composite to substitute for the 2020 bracket as a result of the event was canceled, that is how groups that had been included within the preview fared when the March Madness area was offered:

— 14 groups moved up from their projected seed, none extra outstanding than Duke’s 2017 advance from a No. 4 seed to a No. 2.
— 23 groups moved down, with West Virginia’s decline from a No. 2 seed in 2020 to a No. 6 the one one near Oklahoma’s fall.
— 27 groups wound up in the identical seeding place.
— 12 of 16 groups held their No. 1 seeds.
— 54 of the 64 groups included within the previews remained as top-four seeds within the remaining brackets.

Despite appreciable accomplishment, Missouri should start undoing the latest harm.

The Tigers are one in all solely 9 groups with not less than 5 Quad-1 victories. It’s Mizzou, Michigan, Iowa and West Virginia with 5, Baylor, Illinois and Alabama with six, Gonzaga with seven and Ohio State with 9.

That would appear to make sure a outstanding place on the bracket for the Tigers. It doesn’t. Because they have additionally managed to drop video games towards Georgia, Mississippi State, Auburn and Ole Miss, of whom solely the Rebels have a distant probability at an NCAA at-large bid. That’s lots of video games to lose to non-tournament groups.

The different eight groups that have not less than 5 Quad-1 wins have just one defeat — mixed — towards groups exterior the Bracket Matrix consensus, that being Maryland’s win over Illinois. And the Terps are included in 42 p.c of these bracket projections, so it’s not like they’re a pushover.

That alone makes seeding the Tigers a problem. And in the event that they proceed their present pattern, they’ll have far larger issues than what seed line they occupy on Selection Sunday.

However, regardless that one can precisely say the Tigers are in a dropping streak, it won’t be appropriate to name their latest performances a pattern. They performed towards each Arkansas and Georgia with out heart Jeremiah Tillmon, who averages 12.8 factors and seven.8 rebounds. His dimension and power function the inspiration of the group’s offense and protection. He missed the previous two video games due to a loss of life in his household however will return to play towards the Gamecocks.

It’s a recreation they should win, not a lot to remain within the event — which Missouri has reached solely as soon as previously seven seasons — however to remain within the bracket’s higher echelon.

The Tigers have defeated Illinois, Tennessee and Alabama, all of which had been included as prime 4 seeds by the committee. A group with that on its resume ought to be pondering a happier Selection Sunday than latest performances portend.

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