To answer this question, let’s consider recent bubble teams, namely the “last teams in” from conferences with similar RPI as the SEC has today. Currently, the SEC is 3rd nationally in RPI (this is impressive in itself, considering the conference’s past). Let’s look at the 3rd best conference each of the past 5 years in search of trends, shall we?
Our data set includes the Big East (‘14-15, ‘16-17), Pac 12 (‘13-14, ‘15-16), and *checks notes for 30th time* Mountain West (‘12-13). On average, those conferences sent 6 teams dancing.
To the point, the “last team in” for such conferences went a shade better than 21-12 overall, and 10-8 in their conference, good for roughly a 10 seed (and a 40% shot at a play-in game).
Currently, Mizzou is 16-8, 6-5 in conference, in a 4-way tie for 4th. With seven games left, plus the SEC tournament, Mizzou needs to win five or six games to have a comparable resume to the aforementioned “last teams in”.
Missouri’s remaining schedule features two games against losing teams (vs. Ole Miss, @ Vandy). The rest are against teams who already beat Mizzou (vs. Mississippi State, vs. Texas A&M, vs. Arkansas), on the road against a decent LSU squad, and at Kentucky.
If MU can win four of those and get a conference tournament win, it should be enough to get into the tournament. It puts them squarely on that 21 win, 10-8 conference benchmark.
What if they go 3-4 the rest of the way? Can Missouri finish .500 in the conference and still make the dance? Yeah, but you’ll be an emotional wreck on Selection Sunday. Of the teams studied for this exercise, two squads (‘14-15 Xavier, ‘16-17 Xavier) went 9-9 in conference but won two conference tournament games to squeak into the NCAA’s.
If Mizzou can find six wins in any combination (remaining schedule plus SEC tournament), they’re dancing in March, period. With five wins, given the quality wins to-date and strength of Missouri’s remaining schedule, they’re still likely in. Anything less than five wins and we’re rooting against upsets in mid-major conference tournaments.