Ah yes, the Round of 32 matchup that everyone expected. After pulling off the upset of the Round of 64 by beating No. 2-seed Arizona, Princeton will look to keep its March Madness run alive when it faces off against No. 7-seed Missouri.
Tip-off is set for 6:10 p.m. ET on Saturday and will be on TNT. Missouri opened as 6.5-point favorites at DraftKings Sportsbook.
No. 15 Princeton: 22-8 (10-4 in the Ivy League):
First-round result: 59-55 win over Arizona
KenPom rating: 98 Overall, 108 Offense, 106 Defense
NET ranking: 111, (0-1 VS Quad 1)
Leading scorer: Tosan Evbuomwan 15 ppg
Key stat: Princeton somehow held Arizona scoreless for the final 4:43 in the team’s Round of 64 matchup.
With eight minutes in Princeton’s game against Arizona, the Wildcats held a 10-point lead and seemed to be cruising to an easy win. But then the Tigers locked in and scored seven straight points in a two-minute span before closing the game on a 9-0 run. While Evbuomwan was the lone Tiger to finish in double-figures, the Tigers were locked in as a defensive unit and held Arizona to 3-for-16 from three.
After going 4-for-13 from the field against Arizona, senior guard Ryan Langborg should get plenty of looks against a Missouri team that has a leaky defense.
No. 7 Missouri: 25-9 (76-65 SEC):
First-round result: 76-65 win over Utah State
KenPom rating: 47 Overall, 9 Offense, 163 Defense
NET ranking: 42, (6-9 VS Quad 1)
Leading scorer: Kobe Brown 15.9 PPG
Key stat: Missouri’s win was the school’s first NCAA Tournament win in 13 years
Missouri’s win over the Aggies was the team at its best, as they shot 40% from three as a team, while Brown (19 points) and D’Moi Hodge (23 points) got theirs individually.
With nine minutes left in the second half, the Tigers were trailing by two. Then Brown got hot, knocking down three three-pointers in a three-minute period to put Missouri up for good. The Tigers aren’t a huge team (the 6-foot-Brown is usually the tallest player on the floor), but they play fast and hard afraid to put shots up.
After Brown and Hodge, DeAndre Gholston (10.7 PPG) is the third Tiger to average double-figures and should be in for a big game against Princeton due to the attention Hodge and Brown will receive.
Odds from DraftKings Sportsbook
Point spread: Missouri -6.5
Point total: 149.5
Moneyline: Missouri -275, Princeton +230
Against The Spread Pick: Missouri -6.5
Point total pick: Under 149.5
Pick to Win: Missouri
The ride ends here for Princeton. Missouri is a dangerous team that has three guards who can create their own shot. While Princeton played some incredible defense against Arizona, there’s a reason they had the 108th-ranked defense in the country. Missouri should win this one easily.