How Will Missouri Basketball’s Hot Start Translate to SEC Play?

How Will Missouri Basketball’s Hot Start Translate to SEC Play?
Fact Checked by Michael Peters

It’s been a banner start to the Dennis Gates era in Columbia, with the Missouri men’s basketball team out to its best start in two years.

The Tigers, at 11-1, are in the “others receiving votes” portion of the Associated Press’ latest top 25 poll but are already on the precipice of eclipsing last year’s win total.

That led to break down how Missouri stacks up versus previous Tigers teams that have qualified for the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament this century.

Oddsmakers at BetMGM Sportsbook still have the Tigers pretty far down their NCAA title odds board, with Missouri listed at +15000 to win it all and +6600 to capture the SEC.

There is no legal Missouri sports betting, but the topic should get plenty of consideration from the state legislature in 2023.

Nonetheless, here’s how the 2022-23 Tigers look, compared to the program’s other Big Dance teams since 2000 in advance of their SEC opener Wednesday against Kentucky.

Missouri NCAA Tournament Seasons Since 2000

  • 2022-2023: 11-1 in non-conference (TBA overall record, NCAA Tournament result)
  • 2020-2021: 7-0 (16-10, lost in 1st round to Oklahoma, 72-68)
  • 2017-2018: 10-3 (20-13, lost in 1st round to FSU, 67-54)
  • 2012-2013: 11-2 (23-11, lost in 1st round to CSU, 84-72)
  • 2011-2012: 13-0 (30-5, lost in 1st round to Norfolk State, 86-84)
  • 2010-2011: 14-1 (23-11, lost in 1st round to Cincinnati, 78-63)
  • 2009-2010: 12-3 (23-11, lost in Round of 32 to West Virginia, 68-59)
  • 2008-2009: 13-2 (31-7, lost in Elite Eight to UConn, 82-75)
  • 2002-2003: 10-2 (22-11, lost in Round of 32 to Marquette, 101-92 OT)
  • 2001-2002: 10-3 (24-12, lost in Elite Eight to Oklahoma, 81-75)
  • 2000-2001: 9-3 (20-13, lost in Round of 32 to Duke, 94-81)
  • 1999-2000: 7-5 (18-13, lost in 1st round to UNC, 84-70)
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Missouri in Good Shape Entering SEC Play

Gates’ team has already pulled off a huge win for the program’s momentum, knocking off 16th-ranked Illinois in the 2022 installment of “Braggin’ Rights,” 93-71.

That victory gave Missouri its first win in the series since the 2020-21 season, which also happens to be the last one where the Tigers qualified for the NCAA Tournament.

This year’s squad will look to make it farther than that team, which went from 7-0 in non-conference play to 16-10 and a first-round exit in the Big Dance.

The last Tigers team to make it past the first round of the NCAA Tournament was the 2009-10 squad, which lost to West Virginia in the second round, 68-59.

Missouri last played in the tournament’s second weekend in 2009, when Mike Anderson led it to the Elite Eight, where the Tigers eventually lost to UConn, 82-75.

Year One of the Gates era has seen Missouri as one of the most balanced offenses in America, with five players averaging at least 10 points per game, led by senior guard D’Moi Hodge, who is putting up 16.7 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 2.3 assists per game.

The Tigers have certainly been one of the most exciting teams in the country offensively, as they currently rank fourth in the nation in points scored per game (88.8) and seventh in stats guru Ken Pomeroy’s adjusted offense metric, at 116.3.

It appears the Tigers should be in good shape to return to the Big Dance in 2023 should they hold up during the SEC schedule.



Christopher Boan is a lead writer for, specializing in covering state issues. He has covered sports and sports betting in Arizona for more than seven years, including stops at, the Tucson Weekly and the Green Valley News.

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