(Sports Network) - If some Missouri players looked less than thrilled when
their team was announced Sunday as a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament, it's
because they probably were.
As is custom, CBS had a camera trained on the Tigers during their selection
Sunday show and not everyone was jumping for joy.
After going 30-4 and winning the Big 12 Tournament, Missouri was among a few
teams hopeful to land the last No. 1 seed.
Instead, the Tigers landed in the West Region behind Big Ten champion Michigan
State, which won its tournament less than an hour before the selections were
announced and was named a No. 1 seed for the fifth time.
While the Tigers should have little trouble Friday with MEAC champion Norfolk
State, at least some probably think they didn't get the credit they deserved
for the season they just had.
"It's the respect factor. We went 30-4 and finished a game out of winning the
Big 12 outright," senior guard Kim English said after scoring 19 points in a
90-75 victory over Baylor that gave Missouri the Big 12 Tournament title on
"And we eventually came here and took care of business."
So did Michigan State, of course, although its star player was cautious about
the prospect of being a No. 1 seed, despite being proud of the accomplishment.
"It's a great thing to be a No. 1 seed," Draymond Green said after Sunday's
win over Ohio State, "but at the end of the day, with the way the NCAA is now,
it doesn't really mean much. It may help you out in the first game."
The Spartans won the Big Ten Tournament for the first time since back-to-back
championships in 1999-2000 (they also captured the national championship in
2000). They open Friday against Northeast Conference-champion Long Island.
After the brackets were finalized, Missouri head coach Frank Haith said in a
statement that his players were excited about their berth and looking forward
to playing for a national championship in the team's last season as a Big 12
"Whether it was a No. 1 seed -- a prestigious thing -- it really didn't
matter," said Haith. "I wanted our guys prepared for that. We want to be
excited wherever we are, 1 or 2, about competing for a national championship.
That's what it's all about."
Marquette landed the No. 3 seed in the West and will play the winner of an
opening round game on Thursday. Big East champ Louisville is seeded No. 4 and
opens with Davidson on Thursday.
The other Thursday games pit No. 5 New Mexico against Long Beach State and No.
6 Murray State against Colorado State. The 8-9 game between Memphis and St.
Louis will be Friday, as will No. 7 Florida's game with Virginia.
The Sports Network