Missouri basketball coach Cuonzo Martin and the Tigers conquered a big-time test against Texas A&M Tuesday night, defeating the No. 21 Aggies 62-58 at home.
It’s a win that will take a little bit of pressure off the Tigers, who entered the game as a No. 9 seed according to ESPN’s Joe Lunardi. There was already some cushion (teams on the No. 11 seed line are the last four in) but getting another ranked win will help strengthen the Tigers’ case.
Martin was asked about his team’s NCAA Tournament hopes after the game, and his response was pretty cut and dry: “We’re past that.”
Cuonzo Martin on NCAA Tournament hopes: "You look at our resume. I think we're past that."
— Alec Lewis (@alec_lewis) February 14, 2018
Barring a collapse down the stretch, it’s possible he’s correct. Missouri now has five straight wins, including victories over Kentucky, Mississippi State and Alabama — three other tournament hopefuls. The Tigers appear to be playing their best basketball down the stretch, and that will be meaningful in the eyes of the NCAA Tournament selection committee.
Kassius Robertson led Mizzou on Tuesday with 16 points and 4 rebounds. He also hit a layup with 1:46 remaining that would prove to be the game winner.
The Tigers have not ruled out Michael Porter Jr.’s return to the hardwood. Porter Jr. was the consensus No. 1 overall player in the country coming out of high school, but has missed the entire season with an injury.
The SEC is currently projected to get eight teams to the Big Dance, and could have even more as the final month of the season unfolds.