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.
Tilmon's 3-point play rallies No. 14 Missouri past Bradley
Missouri's Jeremiah Tilmon, left, is embraced by teammate Javon Pickett, right, after they defeated Bradley in an NCAA college basketball game Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2020, in Columbia, Mo. – Jeremiah Tilmon’s three-point play with a second left lifted No. The decisive bucket capped a strong second half for Tilmon. Bradley was much better in the second half, going 15 for 27 from the field. Missouri: Cuonzo Martin is off to his best start as a coach since opening 10-0 with Missouri State in 2010.
Missouri builds big lead, holds off No. 21 Oregon in Omaha
Oregon forward Eugene Omoruyi (2) shoots a free throw against Missouri during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Wednesday, Dec. 2, 2020 in Omaha, Neb. 21 Oregon, validating coach Cuonzo Martin's belief that a Tigers team that returned four starters is poised to move up in the Southeastern Conference. Xavier Pinson scored 19 of his 22 points in the second half and Missouri overcame a mid-game lull and late Oregon flurry to beat the Ducks 83-75 on Wednesday night. He and Martin squared off in Missouri Valley Conference games in the building from 2008-10 when Martin coached Missouri State. Oregon plays Seton Hall in Omaha on Friday.