Tigers enjoy Big 12 tournament bye

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - Never mind their 25 wins and a No. 14 ranking in The Associated Press poll. The Missouri Tigers have a first-round bye in the Big 12 tournament - something that's been elusive in recent years.

After all, it's been a decade since the Tigers got to sit out the opening round, courtesy of finishing among the top four teams in the league.

Forward Matt Lawrence says the Tigers are very confident because they have beaten pretty much every team in the Big 12.

No one on the roster has been part of an opening game win, while the program has not won its first game of the conference tournament since March 2004, when the Tigers upended Nebraska 70-67.

So far, it's been a season of accomplishment for the Tigers, who long have forgotten that they were picked to finish seventh in the conference.

Missouri instead went 25-6, winning 12 conference games for the first time since the Big 12's inception in 1996. Along the way, the Tigers went 18-0 at home.

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