Michael Porter Jr. is a mystery for Mizzou

Web Extra: Mizzou basketball prepares for NCAA tournament

Preview: Missouri vs. Florida State

But he injured his back and played only two minutes of the season opener against Iowa State and underwent surgery.

CAUSE FOR OPTIMISM: Michael Porter Jr. and Jontay Porter didn't immediately announce they were entering the draft after the game.

Freshman phenom Michael Porter Jr., whom many believe was also playing his last game as a Missouri Tiger, played 28 minutes and finished with 16 points.

"It's tough", Robertson said after the game.

On a night when Jontay Porter and Jeremiah Tilmon's nine fouls were more than double the number of points they combined for, the onus fell on Robertson, who had carried the Tigers offensively at time this year, and Porter, who estimated he was only 65 percent healthy when he made a decision to play in Missouri's SEC Tournament game against Georgia.

"I'm just hurting for the team", he said.

Afterwards, Porter Jr. commented on his future, telling reporters post game that "I gotta do what's best for me." and that a decision on his National Basketball Association future wouldn't be made for "a little while" according to the Kansas City Star's Aaron Reiss.

"It's nice to get over that hump", Porter Jr. said.

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The problems that had plagued Missouri all season long - the turnovers, the minutes-long stretches without scoring, the foul trouble - ultimately did the Tigers in one final time. Not to that severity, but we would kind of come out flat in the first halves and going into halves.

It was only previous year that Florida State was upset by Xavier, losing by 25 in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, leading to 12 long months of "what if" and "what happened?" "After that, I don't know". Porter Jr. followed with a foul of his own on a 3-point shot that saved the Seminoles with the shot clock winding down.

Martin said overall he's happy with strides his program made this season and hinted at greater things to come. Missouri had every bit of momentum in that arena, cutting Florida State's lead all the way down to six after Porter's free throws. "I thought they maintained their composure and settled down".

The good news, however, is that Missouri couldn't have really asked for a better seeding in the tournament.

The team was left to wonder what could have been had Porter Jr. been healthy, Barnett suited up and Missouri had the depth it started the season with.

This game is the definition of a coin flip and I think it's the tightest of any of the first round matchups in this year's tournament.

Missouri was also without its second leading scorer in Jordan Barnett, who was suspended following a DWI arrest.

Now they'll face the No. 1 Xavier Musketeers in the second round Sunday.

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