University of Missouri

Missouri-Tennessee basketball preview

Updated: 2014-02-15T00:27:42Z

• WHEN/WHERE: 3 p.m. Saturday at Mizzou Arena in Columbia

• TV/RADI O: ESPN2, KMBZ (980 AM, 98.1 FM)

• ABOUT TENNESSEE (15-9, 6-5 SEC) : The Vols are coming off a home loss to Florida, and they’re 7-1 this season after a loss. … Forward Jarnell Stokes is a load. He’s the only SEC player averaging a double-double in league games (14.6 points, 11.6 rebounds.). … The Tigers will have to find shooters Jordan McRae and Josh Richardson. In the last five games, the pair have combined to hit 34 of 63 three-pointers (54 percent).

• ABOUT MISSOURI (17-7, 5-6): It’s the second in a three-game home stand, and Mizzou is coming off a one-point victory over Arkansas on Thursday. Jabari Brown’s runner in the lane provided the game-winner. In his last nine games, Brown is averaging 23.9 points and is shooting 52 percent on threes. … Forward Tony Criswell gave Mizzou good minutes against the Razorbacks with six points and six rebounds. He hadn’t been that productive since the SEC opener against Georgia.

• BOTTOM LINE: At the annual NCAA Tournament mock selection exercise in Indianapolis, where media types play selection committee members and select a bracket, Missouri and Tennessee made the field. But both were in the First Four, meaning they’d need to win a play-in game to reach the round of 64. That’s how close to the edge things are for these teams. So, look for the Tigers and Vols to play with some desperation, as Mizzou and Arkansas did, providing great drama. Give the Tigers a narrow victory here, giving Tennessee extra incentive for the rematch in Knoxville on March 8, the final game of the regular season.

F5Jarnell Stokes6-8Jr.14.2
F34Jerome Maymon6-8Sr.10.6
G1Josh Richardson6-6Jr.9.2
G15Darius Thompson6-5Fr.2.9
G52Jordan McRae6-6Sr.19.2

F3Johnathan Williams III6-9Fr.6.0
F44Ryan Rosburg6-10So.4.5
G5Jordan Clarkson6-5Jr.19.2
G32Jabari Brown6-5Jr.20.3
G33Earnest Ross6-5Sr.14.2

| Blair Kerkhoff,

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