Michigan failed to make the NCAA tourney Sunday afternoon, but was informed not long after that they would be hosting a game in the National Invitation Tournament versus the Missouri Tigers (16-13) Tuesday night at 9pm. Quin Snyder's club also lost in the 2nd round of their conference tournament, falling to the Kansas Jayhawks on Friday, 94-69. "We are honored and excited to continue our season, and we are grateful to the NIT for the invitation." said U-M Coach Tommy Amaker. "Missouri is an impressive basketball team, and we look forward to a great game on Tuesday night." To view the entire bracket, click here.
A pre-season final-4 pick by many pundits, the Tigers fell short do in large part to player dismissals and the loss of their double scoring freshman forward, Linas Kleiza, to a season ending shoulder injury. That said, Missouri still can put some great athletes on the floor, and Tuesday night marks a homecoming of sorts for their best two. Detroit natives Ricky Paulding and Arthur Johnson return to their home state in the twilight of what have been successful careers at Mizzou. Johnson, a 6-9 255-pound center averages 16.0 points and 7.4 rebounds per game while Paulding, a 6-5 218-pound guard, averages 15.3. They are the Tigers top two scorers.
Because of the attrition Missouri fell victim to, they have been forced to play with a shortened bench for much of the season. Unfortunately for the Wolverines, they just may have to do the same. Sophomore guard Lester Abram suffered a separated shoulder in the game against Iowa on Friday and was forced to sit out the game versus Illinois. His status for Tuesday night is still uncertain at this point.
The game will be televised on ESPN.