Missouri faces Princeton with spot in Sweet 16 on the line

Missouri guard D’Moi Hodge lays the ball up ahead of Utah State forward Taylor Funk during the first half of Thursday’s first-round game in the NCAA Tournament in Sacramento, Calif. (Associated Press)
Missouri guard D’Moi Hodge lays the ball up ahead of Utah State forward Taylor Funk during the first half of Thursday’s first-round game in the NCAA Tournament in Sacramento, Calif. (Associated Press)

On Thursday, the Missouri Tigers won their first NCAA Tournament game in 13 years. Today, the Tigers will try for their eighth appearance in the Sweet 16.

No. 7 seed Missouri (25-9) will take on No. 15 Princeton (22-8), which upset No. 2 Arizona on Thursday to advance.

Game time between Missouri and Princeton is 5:10 p.m. and will be broadcast on TNT.

All-SEC first team honoree Kobe Brown once again led the Tigers to their win against Utah State to start the tournament, scoring 19 points and bringing down eight rebounds while shooting 7-of-8 from the floor. D’Moi Hodge, who has surpassed 20 points in four of the Tigers’ past five games, added five 3-pointers on the way to a 23-point performance.

The duo combines for 31.0 points per game, which is Missouri’s highest for a combo since Jabari Brown (19.9) and Jordan Clarkson (17.5) in the 2013-14 season.

Hodge has led a Missouri offense that scores 79.4 points per game -- ranked 25th in the country -- mostly on the strength of its 3-point shooting. The Tigers have hit 319 3s this season, leaving them only seven behind the single-season school record. Kobe Brown has also taken advantage, hitting 49 3s this season to match his total from his first three seasons combined.

Missouri has won six of its past seven games, with the lone loss coming against Alabama, the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Princeton enters having won five consecutive games, including a 74-65 win against Yale to win the Ivy League Tournament before beating Arizona 59-55.

The 15th-seeded Tigers score 75.4 points per game and allow 68.1.

Senior forward Tosan Evbuomwan (6-foot-8) leads Princeton with 15.0 points per game while bringing down 6.2 rebounds per contest. Senior guard Ryan Langborg (6-4) scores 12.0 points per contest and has hit 58 3s this season. Junior guard Matt Allocco (6-4) is the final Princeton player averaging double figures with 10.9 points per game, while freshman forward Caden Pierce (6-6) brings down a team-high 7.1 rebounds per contest.

Missouri and Princeton have matched up twice before, with Missouri winning both. The Columbia Tigers won 83-71 in the 1957 Big Seven Tournament and 51-48 in the 1999 NABC Classic in Syracuse.

Today’s winner will move on to the Sweet 16, where it will play the winner of No. 3 Baylor and No. 6 Creighton, which play Sunday.

The Sweet 16 matchup will be played in Louisville.

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