PowerMizzou – Tiger Tip-Off Preview: Tennessee

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Mizzou, who earned the No. 4 seed and a double bye in the SEC Tournament, helped the team on several levels. For one, the Tigers need just one win to advance to the conference semifinals for the first time since joining the league in the 2012–13 season. For two, after No. 5 seed Tennessee ousted No. 13 seed Ole Miss 70-55 in the second round on Thursday, Missouri doesn’t risk tarnishing its flawless 18-0 record against Quad 2-4 opponents. , meaning the team would end the year without a single bad loss on its resume.

The Tigers can’t do much to hurt themselves as far as seeding them in the NCAA Tournament – a loss to the Volunteers on a neutral floor won’t define what they’ve accomplished all year. But a deep run in the SEC Tournament could help Mizzou climb the seeding ladder. bracket project Metrics had the team in all 92 tournament predictions they tracked on Thursday night with an average seed of 7.64.

Missouri will face a Tennessee team that lost one of its most important players a few games ago jakai ziggler, The sophomore starting point guard led the league with 5.4 assists per game and ranked fourth in the conference with 2.0 steals per game. Ziegler tore his ACL on March 4 in the first half of the team’s game against Arkansas. The Volunteers defeated the Razorbacks, but lost to Auburn in the regular season finale, falling to the No. 5 seed due to MU’s tie-breaker. On them.

The Tigers defeated Tennessee on the road in their first meeting since the senior guard took over on February 11, 86–85. deandre gholston sank a game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer. head coach dennis gates Hope his team can create the same magic for the second time around.

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“I’m excited to go to the first SEC tournament of my career,” Gates said. “And ultimately, we’ll see where it takes us. It’s going to be a tough, tough, tough environment. I think there’s a range of teams, a number of teams that can win it. I believe There are players who can really step up and take their team in the right direction. And hopefully, we just play games that prepare us.

tip time information

Missouri (23-8, 11-7 SEC) vs. Tennessee (23-9, 11-7)

When: 2:30 p.m. CT

Where: Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, Tennessee

TV: ESPN

series: Tennessee lead, 11-9

Line: Tennessee -6.0

Kenpom Prediction: Tennessee 77, Mizzou 69

projected starters

by the numbers

Best lineup of last 5 matches (per CBB Analytics)

Sean East II-D’Moi Hodge-DeAndre Gholston-Noah Carter-Kobe Brown

Minutes played: 12

Offensive Rating: 156.5

Defensive rating: 71.1

Net Rating: +85.3

game key

1. Have a backup plan on offense. This reiterated that in their first matchup with Tennessee, Mizzou shot a season-high 53.8% from the 3-point line. No one else has come close to shooting that well against the volunteers. Vanderbilt made 40.0% of its 3s against Tennessee, but opponents shot only 37.5% or less in all 30 of the team’s other games on the year. For the season, teams are making just 25.8% of their triples against their Volunteers, the lowest mark in the nation. The Tigers can still shoot at an efficient clip in their rematch with Tennessee, but it’s unlikely they’ll make up for missing again. They’ll need to be prepared to find other ways to put points on the board if their trays don’t drop often.

2. Apply a good amount of ball pressure. Missouri scored 19 points on 10 turnovers committed in its first meeting with the Volunteers. Tennessee had just eight points off the seven turnovers it forced. MU should again have the advantage over the Volunteers, especially with a team lacking Jakai Ziegler, who had 10 assists with just three turnovers on February 11 against the Tigers. Santiago Vescovi Has taken on the point with Ziggler, but is more of a score-first guard than a facilitator like Ziggler. In Tennessee’s second-round game against Ole Miss in the SEC Tournament on Thursday, the Volunteers carried the ball 14 times, allowing the Rebels to score 19 points. Mizzou should do the same in the quarterfinals.

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3. Keep Tennessee away from the free throw line. Foul shots played a big part in the Volunteers erasing a 17-point deficit in the second half of their first game against the Tigers. After attempting eight free throws in the first half, Tennessee scored 25 in the second, scoring 18 points. Missouri made just 17 shots for the game. The discrepancy was caused by inconsistent officiating – the Tigers were called for seven fouls in the first half and whistled for 17 in the second. Volunteers were called for a total of 17 on the night. Mizzou may get more favorable calls (or non-calls) on the neutral floor. But the team will have to do everything possible to prevent free throws from making a big impact in Friday’s contest.

4. If Missouri is down two with 4.2 seconds left in the game, pass the ball to DeAndre Gholston. He’ll know what to do with it.

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