Rickey Scott,  Earnest Ross

Missouri loses at Arkansas, but don’t complain about the refs

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Barring a collapse down the stretch, Missouri isn’t going to miss the NCAA tournament. Losing 73-71 at Arkansas doesn’t change that.

They’ve beaten Illinois, VCU and Ole Miss and they have just one truly horrible loss — at LSU. Given the rest of the teams that are currently sitting on the bubble, the Tigers are in really good shape. Arkansas beats everyone at home. Losing is never a good thing, but a loss at Arkansas is far from reason to sound the alarm.

The bigger issue is how Missouri gave the game away down the stretch. (Before I start, yes, the Tigers have a legitimate gripe with the officiating down the stretch. I’ll get to that.)

With just over a minute left and a 65-63 lead, Phil Pressey turned the ball over trying to do to much on his own. That turnover led to a layup at the other end of the floor, and after Pressey hit a pull-up to give the Tigers the lead back on the ensuing possession, Missouri had a chance to extend their lead to two possessions when Keion Bell was fouled with 47 seconds, but he only hit one of the free throws.

After Missouri pushed their lead to four points, Bell was beaten off the dribble by BJ Young, who was given an and-one on a fairly ridiculous continuation call in which Young traveled before getting the shot off. He hit the free throw, cutting Missouri’s lead to 70-69. After Jabari Brown hit just one of two from the charity stripe, Young against blew by Bell, finishing another and-one that would give Arkansas a one point lead. After Missouri called a timeout, Pressey turned the ball over again — it was a bit of a questionable call, but I don’t think he was fouled — as a result of being out of control.

Arkansas hit one of two from the line and Missouri missed a three at the buzzer that would have won it.

Do the math, and Missouri ended the game by committing two turnovers, missing two free throws and allowing Young to blow by them twice in the final 1:19 as they were trying to protect a lead on the road.

Complain about the refs if you would like, but Missouri gave that game away down the stretch.

That’s what should sting.

Because as of today, Missouri’s only road win is at Mississippi State.

You can find Rob on twitter @RobDauster.

Gonzaga’s NCAA tournament chances take a major blow in loss to No. 16 SMU

SMU guard Nic Moore (11) shoots over Gonzaga forward Kyle Wiltjer (33) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Dallas. (AP Photo/Jim Cowsert)
(AP Photo/Jim Cowsert)
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Nic Moore scored 18 of his 25 points in the second half and added 11 assists as No. 16 SMU knocked off Gonzaga in Moody Coliseum on Saturday night, 69-60.

The Zags got 20 points and 16 boards from Domantas Sabonis, but Kyle Wiltjer scored just four points and shot 2-for-17 from the floor.

It wasn’t pretty.

And it may have been the end of Gonzaga’s NCAA tournament hopes.

Entering Saturday, the Zags had an RPI in the mid-60s, enough to keep them in the bubble conversation but not enough to make them anything more than a team that will be projected to end up on the cut-line.

The issue is a complete lack of quality wins on their résumé. Gonzaga beat UConn in the Bahamas. That’s a borderline top 50 win. They beat Washington, another borderline top 50 win. Beyond that? They swept Pepperdine, beat Tennessee and own a win over Montana. None of those are top 100 wins, and that’s why the SMU game was such a big deal. The Mustangs are a top 25 team. This was a road game. This win was the kind of thing that the Zags could pin at the top of their profile.

But Wiltjer didn’t show up, the Zags had no answer for Moore and they’ll head back to Spokane needing, in all likelihood, to win the WCC’s automatic bid if they want to dance.

POSTERIZED: Cal’s Jaylen Brown has his dunk contest entry

California's Jaylen Brown lays up a shot against Oregon State in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, in Berkeley, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)
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Cal picked up a big win over Oregon State in Haas Pavilion on Saturday night, and the exclamation point was this emphatic dunk from Jaylen Brown: