Plenty at stake for Mizzou at SEC Women’s Tournament | Mizzou Sports News


COLUMBIA, Mo. – Sunday’s victory over nationally ranked Florida might not have been enough to secure Missouri a berth in the NCAA Women’s Tournament, adding more urgency to the Conference tournament. southeast this week in Nashville.

The Tigers (18-11) secured the No. 9 seed on the bracket at Bridgestone Arena and may need to beat 8-seeded Arkansas (17-12) on Thursday (noon, SEC Network) to watch comfortably the March 13 NCAA selection show. . Is Mizzou safe on the pitch with Sunday’s crucial road win?

“I have no idea,” Tigers coach Robin Pingeton said after the 78-73 win over then-ranked No. 15 Florida. “We have been in conversation. I think getting a NET win on the road today was huge for us. I absolutely think we needed it. But, you know, I have no idea. And honestly, there are so many things that come into play. I really think we have put ourselves in a position to be in the game for sure. And I think that’s huge.

ESPN’s latest projections have Mizzou in the bottom four teams in the NCAA’s 68-team field as the No. 11 seed playing Gonzaga in the qualifying round. After back-to-back nine-win seasons, the Tigers have had something of a rebound season and are hoping to make their first NCAAs since their four-year run on the 2016-19 bracket.

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But it’s been a tough season. Mizzou is the only team to knock out No. 1 South Carolina, but the Tigers have since gone on three- and four-game losing streaks while playing without Aijha Blackwell in three of the last four games. Blackwell, a St. Louis native and second-team All-SEC pick, has missed the last two games with backups Kiya Dorroh and Skylah Travis. All three were cited by MU police for possession of marijuana on February 21. On Sunday, Pingeton said there was “a strong possibility” those players would be available for the SEC tournament.

The Tigers have a six-game losing streak against Arkansas, most recently an 88-71 loss on Feb. 13 in a game Mizzou led by seven at halftime. The loss seemed to cripple MU’s chances in the NCAA, but the Tigers have since beaten Mississippi State and Florida, teams that are higher in the NCAA NET rankings. Mizzou is No. 49 in those rankings ahead of Nashville.

The winner of Thursday’s game wins the toughest toss on the court: a Friday showdown with top-seeded South Carolina. The Gamecocks have stuck to their schedule since losing at Mizzou on Dec. 30, another win the Tigers won without Blackwell.

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