Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Tigers Realistic about Postseason Chances; Mizzou Likely Headed to NIT Field after Loss on Friday to Florida in SEC Tournament; COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Tigers Realistic about Postseason Chances; Mizzou Likely Headed to NIT Field after Loss on Friday to Florida in SEC Tournament; COLLEGE BASKETBALL

Article excerpt

COLUMBIA, Mo. * As they packed their bags for the last time in the Georgia Dome locker room, Missouri's players seemed to know what awaited them in the coming days.

Heading into Friday's quarterfinals of the SEC tournament, the Tigers figured they needed to upset No. 1 Florida to have any chance at securing a place in the NCAA Tournament.

Instead, after a 72-49 loss, the Tigers had probably run out of chances.

There's a difference between hope and reality and reality was written all over the faces of the dejected Tigers. Had Mizzou blown its final chance to join the field of 68?

"It's hard to say that," forward Ryan Rosburg said. "We had chances all year. We can't leave it down to one game."

Missouri will find out its postseason destination Sunday night, most likely a place in the National Invitation Tournament's field of 32. The NIT will reveal its four eight-team regions at 7:30 p.m. on ESPNU, following the NCAA Tournament selection show at 5 p.m. on CBS.

Bracket projections by major media outlets consistently left Mizzou (22-11) out of the NCAAs following Friday's loss. On Saturday, Missouri was the first team out of the tournament by CBSSports.com. ESPN.com had MU as the sixth team left out.

Most MU players said they weren't going to watch other conference tournament games the rest of the weekend after losing to the Gators.

"I ain't even going to watch TV," guard Jabari Brown said. "I'll just wait until Sunday. I'm tired of hearing about this 'first team out' and all that stuff. It's annoying. We'll just see when it comes."

"I'll probably just sit in my room," guard Jordan Clarkson said, "and just I don't know, man. It's tough."

After finishing the season on a 6-7 stretch the final six weeks, Mizzou players insisted they're good enough to compete with teams in the NCAA field. …

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