Kentucky vs. Georgia - 3/9/18 College Basketball Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Dean Simpson
March 10, 2018

Missouri freshman Michael Porter expected play in the Tigers' SEC tournament opener on Thursday after missing most of the season due to a back injury. The 5'10, 190-pound goaltender spent three years playing at the University of IL from 2014-2017, where he appeared in 26 total games. Maten will need to have a big game against Kentucky to keep Georgia's tournament hopes afloat.

More importantly, two colossal wins to close the regular season last week likely landed the program its first berth since 2013 in a much bigger dance: the NCAA Tournament.

What's even more impressive about the Tigers' run is they did it with star freshman Michael Porter Jr. playing a grand total of only 2 minutes this season.

Nearly as soon as the school announced Porter Jr. was having season-ending back surgery fans and a portion of the college basketball world began doing the math on his potential return.

In his first game in 118 days, Michael Porter missed 12 of his 17 shots and finished with 12 points. "We had a chance to improve what we were projected as; we didn't do it". "(We) were able to just kind of grind to the finish".

Missouri faces the victor of Wednesday night's Georgia-Vanderbilt game.

Nevertheless, Cuonzo Martin and the Tigers should feel optimistic about Porter Jr.

The exact opposite happened on Thursday, as Missouri shot 34 percent from the floor and both Tilmon and Puryear fouled out. Then they can work Porter Jr into the lineup without worrying about the score.

Geist said the team is going into its tournament matchup "ready to fight".

Porter was cleared three games ago and all he has done is practice and warm up in his game shorts, and in turn sit on the bench for the 30th straight game.

CBS Sports' Jon Rothstein reported on February 22 that Porter received full clearance from doctors to resume basketball activities.

"The season's not over", he said. If he can look good and be a part of a win that is goal number two.

"I felt like we got off to a very slow start but eventually found a rhythm defensively in the first half", Georgia coach Mark Fox said.

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