SEC Tournament Predictions: Will Missouri Cover Spread vs. Georgia? 3/8/18

Michael Porter Jr. and teammates

Michael Porter Jr. and teammates

A win over Georgia likely wouldn't have moved Missouri up, but the Tigers could still get a possible bump because of Michael Porter Jr.'s return.

Last season, Mizzou won its opening game of the 2017 SEC Tournament, defeating Auburn (March 8, 2017) in OT, 86-83, thanks to a game-winning three-pointer by then-sophomore Kevin Puryear.

Missouri forward Michael Porter Jr.is expected to return to the court in the team's second round SEC Tournament game on Thursday. He has not played since Missouri's November 10 season-opener against Iowa State, a game in which he played just two minutes. He had microdiscectomy surgery of the L3-L4 spinal discs, which kept him out until Thursday. Porter leads in rebounds with 6.8 while Blake Harris tops in assists with 3.1 per game.

University Hospitals increases security at fertility clinic after embryo freezer malfunctions
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A busy night for basketball but not for ticket sales as Mizzou was knocked out of the SEC Tournament. With Michael likely entering the National Basketball Association draft (though he hasn't officially declared himself eligible), the 2017-18 season was likely the only chance fans could see him play college ball. His 20 points on 5 of 8 shooting-including four threes-led the team, while a couple of his eight rebounds were on the offensive glass, creating crucial extra possessions. He was clearly rusty, missing the explosiveness his hype was so often paired with. The ball bounced off the rim into the hands of teammate Jordan Barnett, too late for anyone to manage a look at the basket. He took seven more shots than the second-most prolific shooter on his team. He did so just moments after T.J. Starks hit a 3-pointer to put the Aggies up 70-69 with 4.4 seconds remaining, taking the inbounds pass following a timeout and racing up the court for the game victor. Porter has been on the mend for a few weeks and reportedly is getting closer to playing again. He 6'10 frame was steady and forced a few hard looks at the rim.

In short, more games means more time to experiment.

Porter Jr. was one of the nation's top recruits and committed to MU one year ago. The potential for him to thrive in the league as a near-seven-footer who can shoot from behind the arc and drive to the cup is obvious.

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