College Basketball

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71
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Southern Miss343771
Missouri293463
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63


Southern Miss (28-6) at Missouri (23-11)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Sunday, March 23, 5 p.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Mizzou Arena (15,061) -- Columbia, Missouri. Television: ESPNU. NIT Record: Southern Miss 9-8, Missouri 4-4 Series Record: First-ever meeting.

GAME NOTES: The shorthanded Missouri Tigers will have their hands full on Sunday, as they take on the Southern Miss Golden Eagles in the second round of the National Invitation Tournament at Mizzou Arena.

The Golden Eagles dispatched Toledo, 66-59, in the opening round of the NIT on Tuesday. Southern Miss was part of a four-way tie for first place in the Conference USA standings at the conclusion of the regular season, but its NCAA Tournament dream died with a loss to Louisiana Tech in the semifinals of the conference tournament. This is the second year in a row USM has participated in the NIT. On the season, coach Donnie Tyndale's squad has been impressive at both ends of the court as it leads C-USA in field goal percentage (.465), rebounding defense (29.3) and ranks in the top-20 nationally in steals with 8.3 per tilt.

Despite playing its first-round game versus Davidson without suspended guards Wes Clark and Shane Rector, Missouri managed to defeat the Wildcats, 85-77. Coach Frank Haith's squad will receive a lift as Rector is reinstated for Sunday's action, but Clark, who averages 20.4 minutes per game, will be absent once again. The Tigers' win over Davidson marked the 200th career victory for Haith and improved their program record to 4-4 in NIT games. Mizzou continues to lead the SEC in accuracy at the free-throw line, hitting 74.2 percent on the year, and was an improved 75.9 percent during conference play. The Tigers are 100-6 at home since 2008-09.

This bout marks the first meeting in history between these two schools on the hardwood. Whichever side wins will advance to face the winner of the Minnesota/Saint Mary's-CA matchup in the quarterfinals.

The Golden Eagles have received strong play out from senior forward Michael Craig during the postseason. Craig filled up the stat sheet in the win over Toledo as he made 6-of-8 shots from the floor for 16 points, which he accompanied with nine rebounds and four assists. Fellow First-Team All-C-USA selection Neil Watson chipped in 12 points, while Jerrold Brooks and Aaron Brown netted 11 and 10 points, respectively. Watson is scoring 10.5 ppg and is fourth among all Division I players in free-throw percentage (.915). Craig leads USM with 11.2 ppg and 7.5 rpg, while Daveon Boardingham is the second option with 10.5 ppg.

The Tigers trailed Davidson by 13 points in the second half, but managed to escape with the win as they shot 61 percent from the floor over the final 20 minutes. Jabari Brown poured in 30 points to spearhead the charge and in the process surpassed the 1,000-point plateau for his career. The All-SEC junior guard has tallied 20 points or more on 19 occasions this season. The other two starting guards for Mizzou, Earnest Ross and Jordan Clarkson, chipped in 16 and 15 points, respectively. Brown (20.1 ppg) and Clarkson (17.6 ppg) are the fifth-highest scoring tandem in the nation this season.

The loss of Clark may actually be a blessing in disguise as Haith has no choice but to play his high-scoring trio as much as possible. Brown, Ross and Clarkson combined for 111 of the team's 200 minutes and 61 of 85 points versus Davidson. The Tigers may run out of steam, especially against the Golden Eagles, who are very deep and apply full-court pressure quite frequently. Although the Tigers are dominant in Columbia, USM has an excellent chance of escaping with a triumph.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Southern Miss 72, Missouri 69

03/23 10:58:18 ET

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NCSU
CLEM
 
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ECU
 
Final
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TOR 104
Final
DET 95
CLE 103
Final
MIA 102
MIL 109
Final
DAL 90
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Final
GSW 111
CHI 113
Final
LAL 92
WAS 98
7:00pm Tonight
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POR
 
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10:30pm Tonight
PHO
WAS
 
Final
AKR 59
BST 47
 
Final
KSU 63
CMICH 53
 
Final
VCU 72
GWU 48
Final
TOL 70
UMO 65
 
Final
MICH 58
NEB 44
Final
BGU 56
NILL 46
 
Final
EMICH 76
OHIO 40
 
Final
VT 70
PITT 67
Final
LAS 53
STJOE 48
Final
TULA 55
TULSA 62
Final
UGA 70
VANDY 62
Final
KYST 59
WVU 65
Final
BUF 77
WMICH 71
 
Final
GEOR 53
XAV 66
Final
EVAN 89
INDST 78
 
Final
ORU 94
TABOR 53
 
Final
OKST 64
BAY 53
9:00pm Tuesday
PROV 0
DEP 0
 
Final
ALA 50
UF 52
9:00pm Tuesday
RUTG 0
MSU 0
 
Final
ARK 69
TENN 64
Final
AUB 61
TEXAM 71
Final
UTST 56
WYO 44
Final
SDST 58
FRES 47
Final
CALST 79
SDCHR 54
 
Final
NEV 62
UNLV 67
Final
BSU 82
COLST 78
7:00pm Tonight
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ARI 3
Final
NYI 4
NYR 1
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CLB 4
WAS 3
Final
PIT 5
WIN 3
Final
MON 3
DAL 2
Final
FLA 4
DET 5
Final
CAR 4
TAM 2
Final
NAS 4
COL 3
Final
CAL 4
BUF 1
Final
EDM 1
MIN 2
Final
VAN 0
ANA 4
7:30pm Tonight
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10:30pm Tonight
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