Eleven teams from the Big East made the NCAA Tournament. Basically, the teams who finished .500 or better got in. That’s 69% of the conference getting the nod from the committee, but before you go writing off the Tigers in this first round, read more about the Bearcats.
If I was forced to make a case for the Tigers pulling this first game out, (which I am because I’m saying not so fast to a Mizzou one and done scenario), I would make the following arguments. First, Missouri has not gone a full game this year with Kimmie English playing up to his potential. He’s had good numbers in some games, but even those games have been inconsistent where he may play one good half. This is Kimmie’s time. We’ve been waiting all year for him to have his break out game and what better time then to have it in front of friends and family, just 35 miles from where he grew up in Baltimore, MD.
Watch Kimmie’s reaction when Mizzou finds out they are heading to D.C.
Second, could Cincinnati be a bit overrated? Perhaps. They did have impressive wins at the end of the year over 17th ranked Georgetown winning 58-46 in D.C. and 69-47 on the final day of the regular season. (The Hoyas also lost four of their last five and were slumping) They also had a win at home a month ago against #16 Louisville.
However, against the teams that finished above them in the Big East, they were just 2-7 including their 89-51 loss to Notre Dame in the Big East Tournament. With their two wins over the Hoyas, they finished ahead of Georgetown in the standings.
I think Cincy’s 25-8 record is inflated by their 17-0 start which came against a weak non-conference schedule and wins over push overs Seton Hall and DePaul early in conference play.
So, before we just write off the Tigers, let’s see if they have the ability to put one game together against a Big East school. Then MU fans can worry about UCONN!