Second-Seeded Tigers Open NCAA Tournament Friday

MUTIGERS.COM
<i>Kim English</i>

MUTIGERS.COM
Kim English
MUTIGERS.COM

March 14, 2012

#3/#3 University of Missouri Tigers (30-4, 14-4 Big 12) at
NCAA Tournament Opening Rounds • March 16-18

NCAA Tournament NotesGet Acrobat Reader | Gametracker vs. (15) Norfolk State

NCAA Tournament Central
Presented by Buffalo Wild Wings

Tip-Off: 3:40 p.m.
Arena: CenturyLink Center, Omaha, Neb. (17,301). TV: TNT (Marv Albert, Steve Kerr, Craig Sager)
Radio: Tiger Radio Network (Mike Kelly - Play by Play / Gary Link - Analyst)
Rankings: MU: #5/#5 (AP / ESPN/Coaches)
Coach: Missouri: Frank Haith (Elon `88); 159-105 overall (8th year); 30-4 at Mizzou (1st year) Norfolk State: Anthony Evans (St. Thomas Aquinas `94); 77-81 at NSU & overall (5th year)

2nd-Seeded Tigers Hit NCAA Tournament Fresh Off Big 12 Championship...
> After a record-setting regular season, the #3/#3 Missouri Tigers (30-4 overall, 14-4 in Big 12 Conference play) rolled to their 2nd Big 12 Tournament Championship in four years with three impressive wins in Kansas City, Mo., last week. They'll look to continue that push in nearby Omaha, Neb., where the Tigers will be playing in the 2012 NCAA Tournament. Mizzou was slotted as the #2 seed in the West Region, and they will open tournament play Friday in the CenturyLink Center against the 15th-seeded Norfolk State Spartans (25-9, 13-1 in MEAC play).... > Mizzou hopes to carry momentum from last week's Big 12 Tournament title run, when it rolled through Oklahoma State (88-70), Texas (81-67) and 11th-ranked Baylor (90-75) on consecutive nights to claim the trophy. The Tigers have won five straight entering the NCAA Tournament, and that marks the longest winning streak Mizzou has carried into the NCAAs since the 1986-87 squad (coached by Tiger legend Norm Stewart) won nine straight entering the 1987 Tournament. That team was 24-9 entering the NCAAs and received a #4 seed in the Midwest region, but suffered a 1st-round upset at the hands of #13-seeded Xavier in Indianapolis, Ind. (70-69)...

Missouri to Make 25th NCAA Tournament Appearance...
> Mizzou Basketball will make its 25th appearance in the NCAA Tournament when it takes the court Friday in Omaha. The Tigers are 22-24 all-time in their previous 24 appearances, and have reached as far as the Elite Eight four times under three coaches - 1976 and 1994 under Norm Stewart, in 2002 under Quin Snyder and most recently in 2009 under Mike Anderson...

> The 2012 Tournament appearance marks Mizzou's 4th-consecutive NCAA bid, which is tied for the 3rd-longest streak in school history, behind the record of five, accomplished twice: first from 1986-90 and again from 1999-2003...

> This marks the 3rd time in MU history the Tigers have carried a #2 seed. The previous two instances came under Norm Stewart, when his 1981-82 team received a first-round bye and defeated #7 Marquette (73-69), before falling in the Sweet 16 to #6 Houston (79-78), and the very next year when his 1982-83 team received a first-round bye but was upset in the round of 32 by #7 Iowa (77-63). The only other time MU had a higher seed was the 1993-94 team which earned the school's only #1 seed...

> Going west is nothing new to Tiger fans. Including 2012, Mizzou has now been placed in the West region in 8 of its last 12 NCAA Tournaments, dating back to 1993. In each of its last two West region appearances, Mizzou has made a run to the Elite Eight - 2002 and 2009...

A Magical Season In the Making...
> One of the best surprise stories in all of college basketball this season has been the resurgence of the Missouri Tigers under Big 12 and USBWA District 6 Coach of the Year Frank Haith. Haith took over a senior-laden team in April, but one that closed the previous year in tough fashion, losing 5 of its last 6 games, before getting bounced in the 1st-round of the NCAA Tournament. When the previous staff left Mizzou, the future was very uncertain, but when Haith was hired, he convinced everyone to stay put and learn his system of play. A very short roster that featured only 9 scholarship players would make depth a likely problem, and that dropped to 7 early on due to one transfer, but more significantly when senior F Laurence Bowers was lost for the season to an ACL injury sustained in off-season pick-up games. Bowers was MU's leading rebounder from a year ago (6.1 rpg) and 2nd-leading scorer (11.6 ppg), and his loss left Haith with only 7 scholarship players, including only two who stood 6-foot-8 or taller...

> Mizzou had been picked to finish 4th in the Big 12 by league coaches in pre-season voting, but that was BEFORE Bowers was lost for the year, or that pick most certainly would have been much lower...

> Deciding to adapt to what he had, Haith and his staff chose to go to a four-guard lineup, with 6-foot-6 guard Kim English playing the stretch-4 spot, which often put him defensively against power forwards much bigger and stronger than him. On the flip side, however, those same big guys were forced to guard four quick and accurate outside shooters, which also freed up post-man F Ricardo Ratliffe to work freely inside, and the results have been remarkable. Mizzou ranks as the nation's most efficient offense, and has won 30 games for only the 2nd time in school history...

> The Tigers began the season off the radar mostly, but quickly grabbed the national pundits' attention with neutral-court blowout wins over quality teams in Notre Dame (87-58) and California (92-53) in consecutive November nights in Kansas City. Mizzou quickly began an ascent up the polls with every win, and went a perfect 13-0 in non-conference play - marking MU's first undefeated non-conference season since 1972-73. After going 14-0 with an 87-49 blowout of Oklahoma to begin Big 12 play, the Tigers got knocked from the ranks of the unbeaten at Kansas State, 75-59. Mizzou responded with a four-game win streak against three teams which ended up being NCAA Tournament squads - at Iowa State, at home against Texas and on the road at #3 Baylor...

> Now 18-1 and ranked #2 in the polls, the Tigers fell prey to the upset bug, as Oklahoma State went psycho in the final five minutes, and dealt the Tigers a 79-72 loss in Stillwater, Okla. Again, facing adversity, Mizzou would respond with a 7-game winning streak which included huge back-to-back wins at Texas (on a Michael Dixon game-winner in the last minute) and at home against rival Kansas. In the latter game, MU trailed by 8 points with just over two minutes left, when Marcus Denmon scored nine points on a conventional three-point play followed by a pair of clutch three-pointers. That keyed the Tigers to an improbable comeback win over 8th-ranked Kansas, 74-71, before a delirious Mizzou Arena crowd...

> A second win over top-10 Baylor followed two games later, and heading into the last two weeks of the regular season, the Tigers were in a dead heat with Kansas atop the Big 12 standings. Unfortunately, a two-game losing streak hit at the wrong time, as the Tigers dropped a 78-68 game at home to Kansas State, and followed that with a heartbreaking 87-86 overtime loss at Kansas, in a game in which MU held a 19-point lead early in the second half. Resolute to make up for that lost opportunity which cost them a shot at the Big 12 regular-season title, the Tigers responded to close out with wins over Iowa State and at Texas Tech to earn the #2 seed in Big 12 Tournament play. What followed was a brilliant three-day performance in Kansas City which led to three wins and a tournament championship...

Tigers Barbeque Big 12 in Kansas City...
> The only thing sweeter than the world-famous Kansas City barbecue last week in the City of Fountains was the on-court play by the Missouri Tigers, as Mizzou swept a trio of games in very impressive fashion at KC's Sprint Center. Mizzou came into the Big 12 Tournament as the #2 seed, and it easily dispatched #7 Oklahoma State (88-70), #6 Texas (81-67) and #4 Baylor (90-75) by an average margin of 15.7 points per game to take the trophy. Just how impressive was MU's play? Here's a few indications:

> Mizzou trailed for a grand total of only 6:02 of clock time combined in the three games (120 minutes total) - and the latest that MU trailed in any of the games was the 16:01 mark of the first half. Oklahoma State led for 2:24 early, before MU took the lead for good at the 17:42 mark of the first half. In game #2 against Texas (an NCAA Tournament team), the Longhorns led for 3:38 in the first half before MU took the lead for good at the 16:01 mark. In the title bout against Baylor, Mizzou scored the game's first points at 19:23, and it led the rest of the way (for 39:23 of the game's 40 minutes)...

> The Tigers came into the tournament as the nation's most efficient offense, and it was more of the same in KC, as Mizzou averaged 86.3 points per game and shot a scintillating 55.4% from the floor combined (93-of-168 FGs), with single game shooting nights of 52.6% (30-of-57) against Texas and 59.3% (35-of-59 FGs), 53.8% against Baylor (28-of-52 FGs)...

> The long-range shots were falling frequently, as the Tigers shot a combined 43.3% from three-point range in the tournament (26-of-60 3-FGs). The high-water mark was a 10-of-22 performance against Texas (45.5%)...

> It wasn't just on offense, however, as Mizzou's guard-oriented lineup used its quickness to pester opponents into a combined 42.6% shooting effort in the three games (78-of-183 FGs), and 70.7 points per game...

English Lessons Aplenty in Kansas City...
> Senior G Kim English closed his Big 12 career in storybook fashion over the weekend at the Big 12 Tournament in Kansas City, as he was named the tournament's Most Outstanding Player for leading Mizzou to the championship. English scored 69 points in 3 games, averaging 23.0 points per game, and he shot an astonishing 78.8% from the floor (26-of-33 FGs), including a tournament-best 66.7% from 3-point range (10-of-15 3-FGs)...

> English started with a 27-point, 6-rebound night against Oklahoma State, in which he made 11-of-13 shots overall, including 2-of-3 from 3-point range...

> He followed with a 23-point game in the semifinals against Texas, thanks to red-hot 9-of-10 shooting overall (3-of-4 3-FGs). He made his first 9 shots on the night, before sustaining a severe thigh bruise in a collision in the lane that forced him to the lockerroom for several minutes of observation in the second half. He gutted through the pain and returned to the game, clearly less than full speed, and he missed his only shot after that, a three-point try...

> After staying up well past 3 a.m. receiving treatment, English got pain shots before the game, and was determined to help his team to the title against Baylor. He did more than just take up space, as he led the Tigers with 19 points and 6 rebounds. He hit 6-of-10 shots on the day, including 5-of-8 from 3-point land. More impressively, he played 36 minutes on the tender leg...

> After his stretch in Kansas City, English upped his scoring average to 14.9 ppg, which is currently 8th in the Big 12, while he took over the league lead in 3-point shooting (47.3%, on 78-of-165 3-FGs). That 3-point accuracy mark ranks 17th nationally. English also ranks in the Big 12's top-10 in field goal percentage (3rd - 53.0%, 170-of-321 FGs), steals (9th - 1.3 spg) and 3-pointers made (6th - 2.3 pg)...

Phil Pressey Flips the Script...
> All season long, Tiger fans, and knowledgeable basketball observers have seen sophomore PG Phil "Flip" Pressey develop into one of the top play makers in the country. Pressey took center stage this past weekend in Kansas City, where he was a big part of MU's run to the Big 12 Tournament title. Pressey showed his ability to hurt foes with his ball distribution AND his offense, and he was named to the All-Tournament Team for his efforts. Pressey averaged 14.0 points per game, and he had a tournament-best 8.0 assists average and a tournament-best 6 steals...

> In the Tigers' opener, Oklahoma State chose to play him tight, and he was content to get others involved, and that led to a career-high tying 12 assists in MU's 88-70 win. Pressey scored just 4 points, as he took only 3 shots all night, but he came up with 5 steals and 5 rebounds to contribute to the win...

> The next night against Texas, the Longhorns chose to go under screens up top, daring him to shoot. He did just that, connecting on a career-best 5 three-pointers and ending with a career-high 23 points, while adding 4 assists. His big shots came early and helped MU establish control, as he hit 3-straight treys in a 3:18 span that helped MU turn a 6-3 deficit into a 17-11 lead. The Tigers never looked back, and he ended with 18 1st-half points...

> In the tournament title game, he did a little bit of everything, as he scored 15 points, dished out a game-high 8 assists and added 5 rebounds and 2 steals in a game-high 37 minutes. He had 6 of his assists in the 1st half, including a beauty of a no-looker on MU's opening possession of the game for a wide-open layin by Ricardo Ratliffe which set the tone for the day. Pressey then went on to score 11 of his points in the 2nd half as the Tigers pulled away...

> Pressey leads the Big 12 in assists per game (6.3), and his 215 on the season is an MU single-season record. He also leads the league in steals (2.1 per game), is 2nd in assist-to-turnover ratio (+2.6), and is 11th in free throw percentage (76.7%)...

Tigers Gunning for Wins Record...
> Having already broken the school record for most regular-season wins (27), Missouri is gunning for another entry in the record book, the all-time wins record. That mark is 31, which came just three seasons ago, when current seniors Marcus Denmon, Kim English, Steve Moore and Jarrett Sutton were freshmen. That team won 25 games in the regular season, won 3 games to claim the 2009 Big 12 Tournament championship, and raced to the Elite Eight with wins over Cornell, Marquette and Memphis before falling in the West Regional Finals to UConn...

> They're already only the 2nd team in Mizzou history win 30 wins, and one more will tie them with the 2009 team. Here's a look at the winning seasons in MU history:

Rk. Season Wins
1. 2008-09 31
2. 2011-12 30
3. 1988-89 29
4. 1993-94 28
5. 1981-82 27

Mizzou a Strong Basketball/Football Double...
> In this day and age of college athletics, estimates have the sports of football and men's basketball as generating some 98% of all revenues, which means it's very beneficial for a school to be competitive in both sports. Based on the criteria of active post-season appearances in both sports, Mizzou stacks up very well nationally, as it is one of only 7 schools that have active streaks of at least 4 NCAA Tournament appearances and bowl games...

> Here's a look at the figures: Schools With Active Minimum 4 NCAA Tournaments/Bowl Game Appearance Streak

Cons. Cons. School NCAA Bowls Michigan State 15 5 Wisconsin 14 10 BYU 6 7 West Virginia 5 10 Mizzou 4 7 Florida State 4 30 Ohio State 4 12 NOTE - Florida has 21-straight bowl games, and 3 straight NCAA Tournament appearances...

Denmon Guts Out Sprained Ankle...
> In last week's march to the Big 12 Tournament championship, Mizzou senior G Marcus Denmon was his usual instrumental self in MU's opening win over Oklahoma State (24 pts., team-high 8 rebounds). But the next night, he was hampered by a sprained ankle in the early going of the semifinal against Texas. That injury had to affect his shooting, as Denmon went on to go 0-for-10 from the floor against the Longhorns, and he scored a season-low 2 points on a pair of 2nd-half free throws. There was legitimate concern that he might not be able to go the next day in the title game against Baylor, but Denmon, much like Kim English, stayed up until the wee hours of the morning for treatment, and took pain shots to help him out, and he responded beautifully, hitting his first 3-pointer of the day which sparked him to a solid day overall which included 15 points, 3 rebounds and 2 steals, on 4-of-10 shooting...

> Entering NCAA Tournament play, Denmon, who was a 1st-Team All-Big 12 selection for the 2nd straight year (becoming only the 2nd Tiger to ever earn the honor twice, joining Kareem Rush, who did it in 2001-02), ranks 3rd in the Big 12 in scoring (17.6 ppg), 1st in free throw percentage (89.8%), 2nd in 3-point field goals made (2.8 pg), 3rd in steals (1.6 spg), 8th in three-point percentage (40.9%), 8th in field goal percentage (46.1%), 12th in defensive rebounding (4.1 avg.), and 18th in rebounding, despite being only 6-foot-3 (5.1 rpg)...

Mizzou Ranked 1st in Adjusted Offensive Efficiency...
> Mizzou's offense has been stellar all season so its no surprise that the Tigers rank first nationally in adjusted offensive efficiency in the KenPom.com rankings at 125.5, ahead of Kentucky's 121.1.

> Adjusted offensive efficiency is an excellent indicator of success, as six of the last seven national champions ranked first or second in the rankings. The lone outlier is UConn's championship team last year, which ranked 16th.

NCAA Champion's Adjusted Off. Efficiency Rankings 2011 UConn 16th (115.7) 2010 Duke 1st (123.5) 2009 North Carolina 1st (124.2) 2008 Kansas 2nd (125.3) 2007 Florida 1st (125.4) 2006 Florida 2nd (119.4) 2005 North Carolina 1st (126.6)

It's Been A Season of Accomplishments...
> There's eyes on a bigger prize than just having a great regular season for these Tigers, but it would be a shame to not take a step back and recognize just what this team has accomplished to this point. Here's a small sampling of the historic nature of the 2011-12 season, and this team's achievements to date: > Record # of Regular-Season Wins: 27...
> Record # of Big 12 Wins: 14...
> Tied Record for Best Big 12 Finish: 2nd...
> Rivalry Wins over Kansas, Illinois...
> Highest AP Ranking Since 2001-02: #2...
> CBE Classic Champions...
> 1st Undefeated Non-Conference Regular
Season Since 1972-73...
> 1st Road Win at Top-10 Opponent Since
1994: at #3 Baylor...
> Most wins by a senior class in 4-year period: 107...
> Four-straight NCAA Appearances
> Most wins away from home (14) since 1981-82
> 11 wins over the field of 68
> Big 12 Tournament Champions...
> Highest NCAA Tournament seed since 1994: #2...

Memorable Four-Year Stretch...
The Tigers' NCAA Tournament berth in 2012 marks the fourth straight for Mizzou, dating back to the 2008-09 season, which was the freshman season for the current Tiger senior class. That is worthy of note because this senior class has never missed the NCAA Tournament, marking just the sixth senior class in program history to qualify for four consecutive NCAA Tournaments. The 1986 and 1987 freshman classes qualified for four straight NCAA Tournaments as did the 1992, 1999 and 2000 freshman classes. In all, this marks just the fourth time in program history that Mizzou has qualified for at least four consecutive appearances in the Big Dance. Below is a breakdown of those occasions.

1986-1990 - Five Straight Appearances - 2-5 overall
• 1986 (11-seed) - Lost in the first round to UAB, 66-64
• 1987 (4-seed) - Lost in the first round to Xavier, 70-69
• 1988 (6-seed) - Lost in the first round to RIU, 87-80
• 1989 (3-seed) - Sweet 16 (2-1 overall), lost to Syracuse, 83-80
• 1990 (3-seed) - Lost in the first round to UNI, 74-71

1999-2003 - Five Straight Appearances - 5-5 overall
• 1999 (8-seed) - Lost in the first round to UNM, 61-59
• 2000 (9-seed) - Lost in the first round to UNC, 84-70
• 2001 (9-seed) - Second round (1-1 overall), lost to Duke, 94-81
• 2002 (12-seed) - Elite 8 (3-1 overall), lost to OU, 81-75
• 2003 (5-seed) - 2nd round (1-1 overall), lost to Marquette, 101-92

1992-95 - Four Straight Appearances - 5-4 overall
• 1992 (5-seed) - Second round (1-1 overall), lost to SHU, 88-71
• 1993 (10-seed) - Lost in the first round to Temple, 75-61
• 1994 (1-seed) - Elite 8 (3-1 overall), lost to Arizona, 92-72
• 1995 (8-seed) - Second round (1-1 overall), lost o UCLA, 75-74

2009-2012 - Four Straight Appearances - 4-3 overall
• 2009 (3-seed) - Elite 8 (3-1 overall), lost to UConn, 82-75
• 2010 (10-seed) - Second round (1-1 overall), lost to WVU, 68-59
• 2011 (11-seed) - Lost in the first round to Cincinnati, 78-63
• 2012 (2-seed) - Plays Norfolk State in the first round

It is worth noting that with one more win, the Mizzou senior class will match the Mizzou record for NCAA Tournament wins in a four-year span at Mizzou. Currently that record (five wins) is held by the 2003 senior class and the 1995 senior class. Should Mizzou advance past this weekend's opening two rounds, this current senior class would own the record.

Mizzou Earns Highest Seed Since `94...
Mizzou comes into this weekend's NCAA Tournament Opening Rounds as a No. 2 seed, marking the Tigers' top seed in the NCAA Tournament since 1994 when it earned the No. 1 seed in the West Region. That year, Mizzou advanced to the Elite Eight but lost to Arizona in the Regional Final, 92-72. Since the NCAA Tournament expanded to 64 teams (now 68) in 1985, this marks just the second time that Mizzou has been a No. 2 seed or higher. As one of the top four seeds in their bracket the Tigers hold an 8-5 overall record.

NCAA Tournament History...
Heading into the 2012 NCAA Tournament, Mizzou has the most active NCAA Tournament wins without advancing to the Final Four with 22. In fact, Mizzou is 22-24 overall in 24 NCAA Tournament appearances and has advanced to the Elite Eight on four separate occasions, including twice since 2002.

Frank Haith in the NCAA Tournament...
The 2012 NCAA Tournament appearance is obviously the Tigers' first under the direction of first-year head coach Frank Haith. In all, this is Haith's second trip to the Big Dance as head coach after taking Miami to the NCAA Tournament second round in 2007-08. In all, Haith is 1-1 in NCAA Tournament action as a head coach, but he has been a part of five other NCAA Tournaments in his coaching career, including helping Rick Barnes take Texas to a Final Four and a pair of Sweet 16 appearances from 2001-04. In all, Haith is 9-6 as a coach (assistant or head coach) in NCAA Tournament action. Below is a breakdown.

Miami - Head Coach
2007-08 - NCAA Second Round (23-11 overall)

Texas - Assistant Coach/Associate Head Coach
2003-04 - NCAA Sweet 16 (25-8) 2002-03 - NCAA Final Four (26-7) 2001-02 - NCAA Sweet 16 (22-12)

Wake Forest - Assistant Coach
2000-01 - NCAA Tournament First Round (19-11)

Penn State - Assistant Coach
1995-96 - NCAA Tournament First Round (21-7)

Haith in March...
Heading into the NCAA Tournament, Mizzou head coach Frank Haith is 20-21 in the month of March, but he has seen a steady improvement in that mark over the past three seasons, going 4-0 this season and 10-6 over his past three seasons, including an 8-3 mark over the last two Marches.

Tigers on Neutral Floors This Season...
Heading into the NCAA Tournament, Mizzou has plenty of reasons to be optimistic, but one of the main reasons is the Tigers' 7-0 record on neutral floors this season, which is a promising mark as Mizzou will play on neutral floors from here on out this season. In all, Mizzou has been very impressive in those neutral court wins as all seven have come against teams from power six conferences (Notre Dame, Cal, Illinois, Villanova, Oklahoma State, Texas, Baylor) and four against NCAA Tournament teams (Notre Dame, Cal, Texas, Baylor). Below are a few notable statistics from the Tigers in neutral site games this season.

• Mizzou is averaging 85.3 ppg on neutral floors
• The Tigers are shooting .524 in neutral sites this season and .417 from 3-point land
• Mizzou owns a 1.77 assist-to-turnover margin in neutral site games
• The Tigers are holding opponents to just 66.9 ppg at neutral sites this season
• Mizzou owns an average margin of victory of 18.4 on neutral floors this season
• Mizzou is forcing 14 turnovers per game on neutral floors this season while committing just 9.4

Mizzou Tough Away From Home...
Staying on the topic of the Tigers' performance away from home this season, they have won 14 games away from Mizzou Arena this season. Those 14 wins are the most by a Tiger team since 1981-82 when the team had 15 wins away from Columbia en-route to an NCAA Elite Eight appearance that season before losing to Houston in the Midwest Regional final, 79-78. A win on Friday would match that school record for wins away from home in the modern era (since 1958-59).

Denmon, English Join Elite Company...
Senior guards Marcus Denmon and Kim English have already turned in distinguished careers that we will chronicle all throughout this notes package. The duo is now just the third set of four-year teammates (fourth overall set of teammates) to each break 1,500 career points. Denmon currently leads the duo with 1,755 career points while English has 1,568 after scoring 69 over three games in the Big 12 Tournament. Others in this select group include Steve Stipanovich/Jon Sundvold, Clarence Gilbert/Kareem Rush and Arthur Johnson/Rickey Paulding...

> Here's the details there... Active Tiger Teammates with 1,500 Career Points

Tiger Pts. Years
Steve Stipanovich 1,836 1980-83
Jon Sundvold 1,597 1980-83
Arthur Johnson 1,759 2001-04
Rickey Paulding 1,673 2001-04
Clarence Gilbert 1,685 1999-2002
Kareem Rush 1,584 2000-02
Marcus Denmon 1,755 2009-12
Kim English 1,568 2009-12

Mizzou Has Three Active 1,000-point Scorers...
Tiger junior Michael Dixon, Jr., eclipsed the 1,000-point scoring mark in his career in the Tigers' first game of the Big 12 Tournament, giving Mizzou three active 1,000-point scorers. The other two are obviously Marcus Denmon (1,755) and Kim English (1,568). The three active 1,000-point scorers mark the first time that Mizzou has had three 1,000-point club members since the end of the 2008-09 season when Matt Lawrence (1,004), Leo Lyons (1,231) and DeMarre Carroll (1,046) all surpassed the 1,00-point mark in their careers.

Mizzou vs. The Field of 68...
Heading into opening round action against Norfolk State this weekend, the Tigers put together a very impressive 11-3 mark against teams that qualified for this year's NCAA Tournament. Two of the Tigers' three losses to the field of 68 came on the road and all three, coincidentally, came to teams from the state of Kansas. Of course, Kansas State was the only team this season to defeat the Tigers twice and the other loss came in the instant classic at Allen Fieldhouse at Kansas when the Tigers lost in overtime. In all, seven Tiger opponents qualified for the Big Dance this season.

Mizzou's 11-3 (.786) mark against the field of 68 is better than No. 1 seed North Carolina (12-5,.706), Michigan State (12-5, .706) while the Tigers' 11 wins against the NCAA Tournament field are the same No. 1 seed Kentucky (11-2 vs. 68) and just one behind No. 1 seed Syracuse (12-2).

Tigers in Opening Round Games...
The Tigers are 12-12 overall in 24 NCAA Tournament opening round games in their history, dating back to the 1944 NCAA Tournament Appearance. However, in the Tigers' last five NCAA Tournament appearances, they have won four of those matchups with the only loss coming last year to Cincinnati. In fact, Mizzou has won seven of its last 10 NCAA Opening Round games dating back to 1994 when it was the No. 1 overall seed in the West Region.

Tigers in the West Region...
In all, the Tigers will be making their ninth NCAA Tournament in the West Region, a region that has been very friendly to the Tigers in the past. In fact, Mizzou has advanced to three Elite Eights in program history since the field expanded to 64 teams in 1985 and all three of those appearances came when Mizzou was placed in the West Region (1994, 2002, 2009). In all, Mizzou is 10-8 in games played in the West Region.

About Norfolk State...
The NSU Spartans earned the No. 15 seed in the West Region after winning their first-ever Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Championship with a 73-70 victory over Bethune-Cookman. The team is 25-9 on the season, marking the first time since the 1994-95 season that the Spartans have recorded 25 wins. Norfolk State will be making its first-ever NCAA Division I Basketball Tournament appearance since the school moved up to Division I in 1997.

NSU vs. The Field of 68
Norfolk State is 1-2 against the NCAA Tournament field this season. The team suffered two losses to Marquette in the season, the first coming in NSU's season-opener and the second at the 2011 Paradise Jam. The Spartans topped Long Island, 66-52, in the last home game of the season.

Common Opponents
The Tigers and the Spartans have both played Navy this season; Mizzou earned an 84-59 victory over the Midshipmen while the Spartans topped the team, 71-65, as well.

Series History
The NCAA Tournament will be the first meeting between Norfolk State and Missouri.

About Virginia...
The Cavaliers are the No. 10 seed in the West Region of the NCAA Tournament and will face No. 7 seed Florida in a second round game. Virginia posted a 22-9 record overall on the season with a 9-7 record in ACC play; the team knocked off No. 10/13 Michigan early in the season as well. The Cavaliers are making their first appearance in the NCAA Tournament since 2007 when UVA earned a No. 4 seed and advanced to the second round. It is the team's 17th NCAA Tournament appearance, and the Cavaliers have compiled a 22-16 record in tournament play.

Virginia vs. The Field of 68
UVA has compiled a 2-4 record against the NCAA Tournament field this season, highlighted by wins over NC State and Michigan. The Cavaliers suffered two losses to Florida State and one to Duke during the regular season, and the team lost to NC State in the ACC Tournament.

Common Opponents
The Tigers and the Cavaliers have not had any common opponents this season.

Series History
Virginia leads the all-time series, 4-1, with the Tigers. The Cavaliers won the first four games in the series, with the first meeting coming in 1983. Virginia topped the Tigers 68-53 in East Rutherford, N.J. The Tigers and the Cavaliers last met in Columbia, Mo., in 2002 when Mizzou snapped Virginia's four-game win streak with an 81-77 victory.

About Florida...
The Florida Gators will be making their 17th NCAA Tournament Appearance after compiling a 23-10 record, including a 10-6 mark in SEC play. Overall, Florida holds a 32-14 all-time record in the NCAA Tournament, including a 25-9 mark under current head coach Billy Donovan, who has led the team to a pair of NCAA Championships in his tenure in Gainesville. Florida poses an intriguing possible matchup for the Tigers as they also rely on a guard-heavy lineup that hits 9.9 3-pointers per game. Similar to the Tigers, five Gators average double-figures scoring, highlighted by Kenny Boynton's 16.3 ppg average.

Florida vs. The Field of 68
The Gators are 5-6 against the field of 68 this season, highlighted by wins over ACC Tournament Champion Florida State and a pair of wins over Alabama State. Four of Florida's six losses to the field of 68 came to No. 1 seeds (three to Kentucky and one to Syracuse) while the other came to No. 2 seeded Ohio State.

Common Opponents
Mizzou and Florida share just one common opponent, Texas A&M. Florida was 1-0 against the Aggies after defeating them, 84-64, back on Dec. 17 in Sunrise, Fla. Mizzou of course defeated Texas A&M twice this season, first with a 70-51 win at Mizzou Arena on Jan. 16 and then with a 71-62 win on Feb. 18 in College Station.

Series History
Florida and Mizzou have never met.

 

 

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