The Missouri Tigers should have no issue taking on the No. 15 seeded Norfolk St. Spartans. The line on the game favors Missouri by 22 points, so if Missouri even struggles against Norfolk State it would be a disappointment.
Over at SB Nation's Missouri blog Rock M Nation they provide three keys to this game:
The Whistles. Mizzou should by all means have too much for Norfolk State when all is said and done. However ... if Ricardo Ratliffe has two fouls before the first TV timeout, and Steve Moore picks up a second before the third TV timeout ... and Kim English is forced to body up against Kyle O'Quinn ... ? NSU is going to pound and pound and pound, and if Mizzou's positioning isn't sound, they could find themselves limited by foul trouble. In some ways, NSU is like a mini-Kansas State -- they can throw waves of similarly-talented bodies at you, and they don't mind getting into foul trouble if it means you do too. ("The Whistles" goes for NSU, too, by the way. Against their five best opponents -- Marquette twice, Drexel, Virginia Tech and Illinois State -- O'Quinnn fouled out three times.)
Play Your Game. There is no reason to believe Missouri will tighten up or panic if things stay tight for a while. They haven't made a habit of it this season. But in theory, NSU is big and physical enough to hang around with the Tigers, and the imminent Mizzou run will only come if the Tigers continue to play their game and trust themselves. If NSU goes on a little run and we start to see quick Phil Pressey 3-pointers and out-of-control drives, however, there might be reason to get a little nervous. Run the offense, take good shots, play sound defense, win. While we're at it...
Flipadelphia. We never necessarily know which Mizzou guard is going to catch fire, but one usually does, be it Marcus Denmon, Mike Dixon or Kim English. What makes Mizzou untouchable at times is when somebody is on fire and Phil Pressey is in complete and total control. As I said multiple times, despite Kim English averaging 23 points per game in the Big 12 Tournament, I'd have thought long and hard about giving Pressey the tournament's Most Outstanding Player award. Quite simply, when he is great, Mizzou is great. So, uh, be great, Flip.
Game date/time: Friday, March 16, 3:40 p.m. CT
Location: CenturyLink Center, Omaha, Neb.
Radio: Tigers Radio Network
Streaming: NCAA March Madness Live
Line: Missouri (-22)
Go check out Rock M Nation for all things Missouri hoops. For more on the 2012 NCAA Tournament bracket, stay with SB Nation's Selection Sunday StoryStream, and stick around SB Nation's NCAA Tournament hub. For a complete printable NCAA Tournament bracket and tons of analysis on who was snubbed, who got the best bracket, and who will make it all the way to New Orleans and the Final Four.