Cuonzo Martin’s first season has come to an end, as his Tigers got trounced in the first round of the 2018 NCAA Tournament, as the Tigers lost 67-54 to Florida State. The Seminoles advance to take on Xavier in the next round.
Missouri was playing without its second leading scorer in Jordan Barnett, who was suspended following a DWI arrest. The Tigers did have Michael Porter Jr. play in the game, and while he did not start he did contribute. But you could tell that it was only his second game back from a back injury as he looked worn out down the stretch as Missouri tried to mount a comeback. Porter Jr. finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds, but was 4-of-12 from the field.
Jontay Porter also struggled in the game, as Porter Jr.’s younger brother finished with only 2 points and X6rebounds. Only Kassisus Robertson had a strong game for the Tigers, as he finished with 19 points. The Tigers also only played 8 players in the game.
The Tigers trailed 42-20 at halftime but slowly began to crawl their way back into the game. At one point in the second half, the Tigers cut the lead to 6 and made it a 50-44 game. But Florida State responded by going on a 16-2 run that essentially put the game out of reach.
With the loss, Martin’s first season comes to an end at 20-13, which is still miles better than the 8-win season the Tigers had last season. This Missouri team will look very different next year, as Robertson and Barnett will both graduate and Porter Jr. is likely to be a top pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. Jontay Porter is also getting some first round buzz for this year’s draft, but he is not the prospect that is brother is at this point.
Overall, the SEC went 6-2 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, with Kentucky, Tennessee, Auburn, Alabama, Texas A&M and Florida winning. Along with Missouri, Arkansas also lost in the first round, as the Razorbacks lost to Butler.
Florida State will play Xavier at 8:45 p.m. ET on Sunday night.
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