Missouri has a trip to its second-straight Sweet 16 on the line today against West Virginia at HSBC Arena.
But to get to Syracuse next week, the Tigers must pass a strong Mountaineer team that holds the No. 2 seed in the East Region and is No. 6 in the Associated Press Poll.
Starting with senior swingman Da'Sean Butler, West Virginia throws plenty of big bodies at their opponents. At 6-feet-7-inches tall, Butler averages 17.2 points a game and has six game-winning shots this season. Butler is joined in the starting lineup by three forwards ranging from 6-foot-7-inches tall to 6-foot-9-inches tall. To put it simply, Missouri will be in a battle down low in this one trying to fend off the bigger West Virginia team.
The Tigers found their groove against Clemson and will need to find it again if they want to hang with the Mountaineers. Part of creating the fastbreak opportunities on which Missouri thrives is forcing turnovers. The Tigers forced Clemson to cough up the ball 20 times and it will be interesting to see how West Virginia handles the pressure Missouri applies.
Syracuse easily finished off Gonzaga about 15 minutes ago, so West Virginia and Missouri are warming up on the court. Tipoff will be 1:42 p.m.