Mizzou can boost its NCAA Tournament chances in SEC play

Mizzou’s most significant accomplishment of the season came on Wednesday, when the Tigers beat Georgia at home.

Seriously. Even though the Tigers had recently won their first conference road game in 33 tries.

That win over Georgia was their first win this season over a team ranked in the top 50 in the NCAA’s rating percentage index, or RPI, which comprises a team’s win-loss record and its strength of schedule. The game was a signifier of the opportunity ahead for Missouri. The Tigers next opportunity comes on Saturday at Arkansas.

After playing just one team with an RPI in the top 50 — West Virginia — during non-conference play, the Tigers have already played two such teams through three Southeastern Conference games. Florida’s RPI ranks 35th, and Georgia’s is 43rd.

The SEC is a good basketball league this season. Coaches keep saying it, and they are correct.

Of Mizzou’s final 15 games, nine are against teams with RPI’s ranked inside the top 60 in the country, according to the NCAA’s Friday rankings. Four of the games are against teams with current RPIs at 14 or better: Tennessee (14), Auburn (11) and Kentucky (6, and on Missouri’s schedule twice).

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