Pick Six: Veterans to watch as NCAA Tournament begins
(AP Photo/Chase Stevens)INDIANAPOLIS – There has never been a better time to have senior leadership in the NCAA Tournament than this season. AdVirginia intends to play after withdrawing from the ACC Tournament because of COVID-19 protocols, which means fans will get to say Sam Hauser running the show. Dru Smith is their leading scorer and Jeremiah Tilmon finally reached his potential this season, and both aim to help Missouri snap a four-game NCAA Tournament skid. Herb Jones is an All-American candidate and Jaden Shackelford is Alabama's leading scorer, but John Petty Jr. makes the SEC Tournament champs go. Then there's Tennessee forward John Fulkerson, who sustained facial fractures in an SEC Tournament win over Florida and underwent surgery Sunday.
Missouri hangs on for 1st win at Florida, 72-70
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Dru Smith scored the game-winner, banking a baseline drive reverse layup off the glass with 0.7 seconds on the clock and Missouri held on to defeat Florida 72-70 on Wednesday night for the Tigers’ first-ever win in Gainesville. Dru Smith scored 17 points and had nine assists and a season-high six steals to lead Missouri (15-7, 8-7 Southeastern Conference), Mitchell Smith scored 14 and Mark Smith 11. Tre Mann scored 21 points to lead Florida, Tyree Appleby added 12 with five assists and Noah Locke scored 11. The Gators committed 18 turnovers, leading to 25 Mizzou points, and saw a three-game win streak end. Mitchell Smith pushed the Tigers lead to 10, opening the second half with a 3-pointer.
No. 18 Missouri holds off frantic rally, tops No. 10 Alabama
Dru Smith and Missouri built a 22-point lead in the second half, then held off a frantic rally by the Crimson Tide for a 68-65 victory on Saturday. AdThe Crimson Tide had one last chance to tie it, but Jaden Shackelford’s contested 3-pointer at the buzzer missed. Shackelford scored 15 to lead Alabama (15-5, 10-1 SEC), whose first conference loss was almost an incredible comeback victory. Alabama is a volume 3-point shooting team, and when the Crimson Tide missed, Missouri started fast breaks with long rebounds. AdUP NEXTAlabama: The Crimson Tide travel to South Carolina on Tuesday.