Missouri's fall from NCAA Tournament grace continues in the March 4 edition of Joe Lunardi's Bracketology, the only scientific discipline offered at ESPN University. (espn2 university-wilmington briefly offered a PhD. in x-treme studies.) They fell to eighth even before losing 70-66 to Kansas on Saturday, which puts them all the way in Cleveland for a first-round match-up against ninth-seed Tennessee. Missouri State's MVC-autobid 12th seed, meanwhile, belongs to Indiana State following their upset victory in the Missouri Valley tournament.
Missouri will need a strong showing in the Big 12 Tournament, starting Wednesday, to regain their footing after unpleasant losses to Kansas State and Nebraska; they'll start in Kansas City against Texas Tech, Wednesday at 8:30. Missouri State goes from an automatic bid to a seriously troubled bubble team, in spite of their performance in the MVC's regular season; Bernie Miklasz, among others, notes that it would require a Copernican repudiation of bracketology, at this point, for Missouri State to receive an at-large bid. It's tough being a big fish in a mid-major pond when one of the medium-sized fish gets in a good punch. Or whatever it is fish use to fight each other; the metaphor breaks down there.