For the first time in five years, Missouri is going dancing.
The Tigers heard their name called as a No. 8 seed in the West Region. Missouri will play ninth-seeded Florida State on Friday in Nashville, Tenn. The game will tip off around 8:50 p.m. on TBS.
The winner faces No. 1 seed Xavier on Sunday, barring an upset.
The at-large bid makes it 27th appearances for the Tigers men's basketball team in the NCAA Tournament and the first since 2013, when Missouri lost to Colorado State as a No. 9 seed in Lexington, Ky.
Never miss a local story.
"He's suspended as we speak," Mizzou coach Cuonzo Martin said Sunday. "He won't play Friday."
The Tigers will have seven scholarship players available Friday. It's possible Barnett could return if they advance.
Martin got a $25,000 bonus for Missouri's trip to the NCAA Tournament, as per his contract, and his payday could get better. That would increase to $50,000 if Missouri reaches the Sweet 16, $75,000 for the Elite Eight and $100,000 for the Final Four. Should Missouri win the national championship, Martin will pocket $225,000.
The majority of Missouri's players had their phones out as the selection show got to the letter M during the at-large announcements. When Missouri's name came up, a few players jumped out of their seat while the small crowd that braved through the snow to make it to Mizzou Arena let out a cheer.
The crowd gasped after Missouri's name failed to show up in the 8/9 game that could have set up a second-round matchup with rival Kansas in Wichita.
"I was praying to God we didn't end up in Wichita," said junior forward Kevin Puryear, a Blue Springs South grad. "There is nothing in Wichita."
None of Missouri's players were familiar with Florida State because the Tigers didn't play them in the regular season. Missouri last played Florida State on Dec. 19, 1980. The Tigers lost 68-64.
Martin has never coached against Florida State's Leonard Hamilton in his 10 years as a head coach, but Martin said he considers Hamilton a mentor.
"I have a great deal of respect for Leonard," Martin said. "I've talked to Leonard for years. I've learned a lot from him outside of basketball. I know his assistant coaches very well. They always have length, athleticism."
Missouri's draw to Nashville is convenient for fans, because it's only a six-and-a-half-hour drive from Columbia and has a strong alumni base. The Tigers have had good crowds for games at Vanderbilt and for the SEC Tournament.
"I got some pretty good memories at Bridgestone Arena," Puryear said. "I'm really excited to go back there. Nashville is just a really great city for the fans."
Puryear hit a buzzer-beater against Auburn in the first round of the SEC Tournament in 2017, a game in which he scored a career-high 30 points.
Martin said his team will enjoy the achievement for the evening but the celebration ends Monday when the team returns to practice.
He took a 'next man up' approach when asked how he'll handle the team's lack of depth. Martin also expects a better Michael Porter Jr. for the NCAA Tournament after the freshman phenom returned from back surgery in the team's loss to Georgia in the SEC Tournament on Thursday.
Martin's last trip to the NCAA Tournament was at California in 2016. The fourth-seeded Bears were upset in the first round by Hawaii, a No. 13 seed, who was led by former Missouri player Stefan Jankovic.
While Missouri has a lot to learn over the next week about the Seminoles, Puryear is excited about playing a new team.
"That's the beauty in the tournament," he said. "Playing teams that you never really played before. It's going to be a fun matchup for us."