Georgia almost let a big lead slip away, but the 12-seed survived a three-point attempt from the corner as time expired to defeat Missouri 62-60, and advance to the SEC Tournament quarterfinals against Kentucky.
For the second consecutive game, AP SEC Player of the Year Yante Maten scored more than 20 points. Tonight he had 21 points and 10 rebounds in the victory.
The highly anticipated debut of Michael Porter Jr. was anticlimactic for 39 minutes. At halftime he was 2-for-10 with just five points as the Tigers trailed by nine. Missouri clawed back (largely in part thanks to Georgia’s offensive ineptitude in the final four minutes) and almost gave Michael Porter Jr. a storybook ending to his first game. He hit a three-pointer from the top of the key to cut the deficit to one with a minute to play. With 13 seconds remaining, he caught the ball at the same spot for a chance to take the lead, but it fell just short. The Tigers final two looks feel short to end their SEC Tournament.
Kentucky and Georgia only played once this year. The Wildcats won 66-61 in Rupp Arena, but Kentucky could not slow down Maten. He finished with a 17-point, 12-rebound double-double in Lexington.
Tip-off between the Cats and the Dawgs is set for approximately 3:30 ET tomorrow on the SEC Network.