PowerMizzou – Tiger Tip-Off Preview: Utah State

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Sacramento, CA — After a full season of extreme achievement, Missouri got another chance to prove itself, this time on college basketball’s biggest stage. The Tigers make their 29th appearance in the NCAA Tournament in program history this week as the No. 7 seed in the South Region, hoping to earn their first win in the Big Dance since 2010.

They will face No. 10 seed Utah State, a team that finished as runner-up in the Mountain West Conference. The Aggies are likely to be sleeper upset picks in several March bracket pools across the country. No. 7 seeds only beat No. 10 seeds about 60% of the time. Vegas oddsmakers favor Utah State by a slim margin. ESPN’s Jai Bilas Predicted the Aggies to come out with a win. Team head coach ryan odomIn 2018 pulled off one of the biggest upsets in tournament history, leading the No. 16 UMBC Retrievers to upset No. 1 seed Virginia.

Utah State plays a similar style to Mizzou, moving the ball in transition and taking a high number of 3-pointers – both teams rank among the top 15 in the nation in KenPom’s adjusted offensive efficiency rating. The Aggies are just a little more efficient.

Odom said, “They have five guys who can dribble, pass and shoot.” “To be honest, we love that too. This team doesn’t necessarily have that, our team. Last year’s team did. We had five guys at times that our center could start the offense and make it Could bring up. They have that. Of course, that makes it extremely challenging.”

sport is very important dennis gates, This is his first tournament appearance as the head coach of MU. He has a chance to lead the Tigers to their 25th win for the first time since the 2011-12 season. He’s going up against a Utah State team he’s seen several times before when he was an assistant coach at Nevada from 2009-11. He is attending a game just 77 miles from where he plays college at Cal-Berkeley. He invited his old coach, ben braunTo come out and watch Mizzou play.

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Thursday’s game is one the team has been building on season. Gates is eager to see his team do their best.

“Finally, man, I’m grateful to be here,” Gates said. “We have nothing but respect for our opponent. We will always do those things. May the best team win. They will have scouting reports, we will have scouting reports. It will be a great environment to have both the institutions with their schools, Excited to represent our conference and also creating memories for the youngsters.

tip time information

Missouri (24-9, 11-7 SEC) vs. Utah State (26-8, 13-5 MWC)

When: 10:40 amPT/12:40 pm CT

Where: Golden 1 Center, Sacramento, California

TV: TNT

series: tied at 1-1

Line: Utah State -1.5

Kenpom Prediction: Utah State 82, Missouri 79

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: 24

Offensive Rating: 141.4

Defensive Rating: 87.8

Net Rating: +53.6

game key

1. “Go back and make sure we lock down on our guys and shooters and make sure they don’t have open formations,” said assistant coach Dickey Nutt. Utah State is one of the top shooting teams in the country. The team ranks 60th in the nation according to Kenpom, with 42.1% of field goal attempts coming from long range. Triples accounted for 35.1% of the Aggies’ points. They hit 38.5% of their 3s, which ranks 11th in the NCAA. Four different players steven ashworth, Max Shulga, Sean Bairstow And taylor funk – Shooting at least 36% from the arc. And playing at the speed they do, it can be tough to keep track of four shooters. Negating USU’s good looks from the outside have been key in nearly all of the team’s losses, as the Aggies have only connected on 30.5% of their 3-pointers in their eight losses. It will be important again on Thursday.

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2. Turn over Utah State. The Aggies do not have the same type of athletes that the SEC schools have. Instead, the team relied heavily on ball speed to achieve safety in motion, assisting on 62.3% of its field goals, ranking 10th in the nation. Despite the number of passes thrown by the team, USU does not turn the ball over at a high clip, turning it over on just 17.4% of the rest. Ashworth is a big reason why, with the junior starting point guard posting a 2.7-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio this year. Turnover margins have been a big factor in Mizzou’s most important games of the year — the Tigers were plus-three in their win over Tennessee in the SEC quarterfinals and plus-13 in the semifinals against Alabama. To throw the Aggies out of rhythm, Missouri will need to disrupt the natural flow of their offense.

3. Go to Paint. Utah State is one of the better teams in the country defending the rim, with the Aggies only allowing opponents to shoot 45.9% on 2-pointers, ranking 36th in the NCAA. But Mizzou is one of the best internal scoring teams in the country, making 55.9%, ranked 13th. The Tigers struggled against Alabama, shooting only 37.2% against the Crimson Tide. But he sank 64.5% of his 2s against Tennessee, which proved to be the difference in the eight-point victory. USU boasts similar length to Alabama, with three of its starters listed at 6-foot-8 or taller in the front court. But only one player, the starting center travin doriesListed at 240 pounds – 10 pounds lighter than Missouri’s leading scorer kobe ​​brown and fellow senior forward only five pounds heavier Noah Carter, No one else on the Aggies’ roster comes within 10 pounds of Brown or Carter, both of whom shoot 60% on 2-pointers. While the Tigers won’t necessarily have a height advantage, they should have a size advantage in order to have an advantage in the post.

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