Missouri in NCAA Tournament: Michael Porter Jr. may start as Jordan Barnett is suspended

Missouri forward Jordan Barnett, the team's second leading scorer and rebounder this season, will be suspended for the Tigers' NCAA Tournament opener on Friday against Florida State. Coach Cuonzo Martin announced the suspension Sunday, which comes on the heels of a DWI arrest on Saturday.

"He will be out and it'll be the next man (in) and we keep moving," Martin told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch). "It's what it is. We've managed to get to this point. You have (Michael Porter Jr.) there in the fold. Jordan's out, Mike's in. I'm not sure how we'll start lineups. I don't know about that."

In Barnett's absence, Michael Porter Jr., who came off the bench in his second career game against Georgia in the SEC Tournament this week, could get the nod as a starter. Porter Jr. is a 6-10 freshman forward who projects as a top 6 pick in both Gary Parrish and Reid Forgrave's latest 2018 mock drafts.

Barnett's suspension will hold for only one game and Martin confirmed that he will travel with the team to Nashville for the NCAA Tournament. So should the Tigers beat Florida State in the first round, Barnett would be available for Sunday's second round game -- a matchup that would likely pit them against No. 1 seed Xavier.

Barnett is averaging 13.1 points and 5.9 rebounds per game for the Tigers this season.

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