One day after clinching its second Southeastern Conference championship in four years, Missouri volleyball found out its NCAA fate Sunday during the national tournament selection show on ESPNU.
The Tigers, 25-5 overall and 16-2 in the SEC, drew the No. 15 national seed and will be host to the first two rounds Thursday and Friday at the Hearnes Center.
Mizzou opens against Northern Illinois, 25-5, at 6:30 p.m. Thursday.
With a victory, the Tigers would play the winner between Purdue, 18-13, and Iowa State, 18-10, who play at 4:30 p.m. Thursday in Columbia. That game will be at 6 p.m. Friday at the Hearnes Center.
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Mizzou, which is making its 13th postseason appearance since 2000, was undefeated in 2013 and earned the No. 4 overall seed.
After the Tigers knocked off IUPUI in the first round, the Boilermakers — who are battle-tested from the annual Big Ten slugfest — pulled off a stunning upset.
This season, Mizzou shared the SEC crown with Florida, 26-3, but earned the conference’s automatic NCAA berth by virtue of a five-set head-to-head win Nov. 20 in Columbia.
The Gators drew the No. 11 national seed.
Defending champion Nebraska, 27-2, is the tourney’s top seed, followed by two other Big Ten teams — Minnesota, 25-4, and Wisconsin, 25-4 — with Texas, 22-4, securing the fourth overall seed.
Mizzou is in the Golden Gophers’ regional.
Two other SEC teams were selected for the field. Kentucky will play in No. 8 seed Washington’s bracket and Texas A&M joins the rival Longhorns in Austin, Texas.
Finally, Missouri State, 26-8, was placed in No. 14 seed Kansas State’s bracket.