Missouri is seeded No. 11

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COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) -- After a strong start, Missouri stumbled to the finish line of its Big 12 season, losing four of its last five games including a second-round exit in the conference tournament.

The NCAA selection committee was not impressed, but still included the Tigers in the 68-team field.

Missouri (23-10) fell to a No. 11 seed after spending the majority of the season in the Top 25 and will play No. 6 seed Cincinnati in the second-round game Thursday in Washington. It's the Tigers' third straight NCAA appearance.

Missouri was nearly flawless at home this season with a mark of 17-1, losing only in the final regular-season game against Big 12 champion Kansas. On the road, the Tigers won only one conference game -- at Iowa State on Feb. 19.

"We've had two great practices these last few days, physical and tough, how we used to practice our Elite-Eight year. Demare and Leo and JT would be close to blows in practice and we kinda got back to that" junior guard Kim English said.

"It's a defensive aspect and that's something we've been working on. That's something we've really been working on these last few days of practice, is really getting after each other. It's been very physical and that's what's going to help this team be successful is guys pushing each other" senior forward Justin Safford said