Bracket Breakdown: Missouri

      For most of the season, the big question surrounding the Tigers has been "can they compete with bigger teams, specifically in the frontcourt?" And it's not that difficult to be technically defined as a "bigger team" given that Mizzou has just two rotational players standing 6'8" or taller. But Frank Haith's Missouri squad has answered all of these questions in some variation or another to date. As the No. 3 team in the country, they have beaten Baylor twice, both home and away, and knocked off Kansas. During these three highlighted games, Missouri's swarming defense has done a great job locking down the likes of Jeff Withey, Perry Jones and Quincy Acy on the blocks; they can attribute their effectiveness back to the pressure their guards exhibit on opposing ball-handlers- forcing the starting point guards into 15 turnovers- and do not allow them to initiate the offense and get the ball inside to the bigs.

        As Missouri continues to win games despite being undermanned in the frontcourt, they question has turned into "can opposing teams matchup with Missouri's four-guard attack?". Marcus Denmon is a super-effective scorer at 18 points a night on 46 percent shooting from the floor, 90 percent from the foul line and 40 percent from 3-point range. Senior Kim English has found his shooting stroke despite playing out of the position at the 4 most nights. Nontheless, he is tied for second on the team with 14 points on 50 percent shooting from the field and a team-leading 47 percent from 3-point range. And then point guards Flip Pressey, the starter, and sub-Michael Dixon have been solid both offensively and defensively as previously mentioned.

        Standing 3-0 against Top 10 teams this season, it's pretty clear that Missouri has a Final Four-caliber team.

By President Corey Ruff - 2 - 17 - 12