When: March 21, 2013 @ 8:20PM
Where: Lexington, KY
Line: Mizzou -2.5
The Missouri Tigers will play in their 5th straight NCAA Tournament starting on Thursday. The Tigers received a No. 9 seed and will take on the No. 8 seed Colorado State Rams in Rupp Arena in Lexington, KY.
The Rams are led by a familiar coach to Mizzou fans. Ex-Iowa State head coach, Larry Eustachy, is in his first season at Colorado State and will be making his fifth trip to the NCAA Tournament in 22 years.
Colorado State enters the NCAA Tournament at 23-8, and are 8-4 in their last 12 games. The Rams key wins are against UNLV, Boise State, and San Diego State. They are 3-7 against teams ranked in the Top 50 of the RPI. Colorado State’s only non-conference game against a Top 50 team, was a 70-61 loss at Colorado.
Senior, Colton Iverson, is the player to watch for the Rams. Iverson leads the team averaging 14.7 points per game and 9.8 rebounds per game. He shoots 59.9% from the field. Another key player for Colorado State is a Lawrence, KS native, Dorian Green. Green averages 12.8 points and leads the team with 3.8 assists per game.
The Tigers are 23-10 and 7-5 in their last 12 games. Mizzou is 4-5 against teams ranked in the Top 50 of the RPI, with wins against VCU, Illinois, Ole Miss, and Florida. The Tigers are 11-3 on a neutral court under Frank Haith. The Tigers 5th straight trip to an NCAA Tournament, ties a school record and is the current longest streak in the SEC.
Missouri is the only major college basketball team that has 6 players averaging over 10 points per game. Laurence Bowers leads the Tigers with 14.4 points per game, but Phil Pressey will be the most important player for the Tigers this week. He averages 11.6 points per game and 7.1 assists. He’s only shooting 37.6% from the field and has really struggled from behind the arc. If the Tigers are going to win a game or two in the NCAA Tournament then they will need a good performance from Pressey. The Tigers have plenty of guys that can score, but this team goes as Pressey goes.
The winner of this game will most likely play Louisville, who is the No. 1 overall seed. The Tigers played Louisville earlier this season in the Bahamas and lost 84-61. Mizzou played that game without Jabari Brown.