The Missouri Tigers and the Utah State Aggies meet in a first round NCAA tournament matchup from the Golden 1 Center on Thursday afternoon.
Missouri Tigers Team Preview
The Missouri Tigers come into the NCAA tournament after posting a 24-9 overall record including an 11-7 mark in SEC conference play. Missouri took down Tennessee in the quarterfinals of the SEC tournament before falling to eventual champion Alabama. Kobe Brown led the Tigers with 15.8 PPG and 6.3 RPG while D’Moi Hodge has 14.8 PPG with 3.8 RPG and DeAndre Gholston has 10.7 PPG. Nick Honor also has a team-high 3 APG to lead Missouri in assists. As a team, Missouri is averaging 79.5 PPG on 47.3% shooting from the field, 36.1% from three and 75.9% from the foul line this season.
Utah State Aggies Team Preview
The Utah State Aggies come into the NCAA Tournament after going 26-8 overall, including a 13-5 mark in Mountain West conference play. Utah State took down New Mexico and Boise State before falling to San Diego State in the conference championship game. Steven Ashworth leads the Aggies in scoring and assists with 15.3 PPG and 4.5 APG while Taylor Funk has 13.3 PPG with 5.5 RPG. Max Shulga has 12.1 PPG and 4.4 RPG and Dan Akin has 12 PPG with a team-high 6.9 RPG to lead the Aggies on the glass. Sean Bairstow has 10.4 PPG with 5.1 RPG to round out the scoring in double figures for the Aggies so far this season. As a team, Utah State is averaging 78.6 PPG on 48% shooting from the field, 39.3% from three and 76.4% from the foul line this season.
I’m backing the Aggies in this one. I think it’s very telling that Utah State’s favored in this game, and I agree with it because the Tigers didn’t really have to deal with many offenses that can shoot the lights out like the Aggies can. Missouri is a solid team and this game will likely soar over the total, but I think it’s still Utah State’s to lose. Give me the Aggies here.