University of Missouri

Missouri-Mississippi State basketball preview

Updated: 2014-03-01T00:13:08Z

• WHEN/ WHERE: 12:30 p.m. Saturday at Mizzou Arena in Columbia

• TV/RADI O: KSMO (Ch. 62); KMBZ (980 AM, 98.1 FM)

• ABOUT MISSISSIPPI STATE (13-15, 3-12 SEC) : The Bulldogs have lost 10 straight games and are 0-7 in SEC road games. In fact, Mississippi State has only lost by fewer than 10 points in one of those conference road games and is tied for last place at 3-12 with South Carolina. The Bulldogs are 0-2 in Columbia. Sophomore Craig Sword can be an explosive scorer. He erupted for 33 two weeks ago against LSU. Mississippi State isn’t a very good three-point shooting team at 30.4 percent for the season and making only 4.6 threes per game.

• ABOUT MISSOURI (19-9, 7-8 SEC): The Tigers seemed to turn a corner with a three-game home win streak against Arkansas, Tennessee and Vanderbilt. Of course, back-to-back road losses at Alabama and Georgia have left Missouri back on the bubble for a sixth straight NCAA Tournament appearance. The Tigers’ RPI will take a hit against Mississippi State, because it will hurt Missouri’s strength of schedule. The Tigers will take a third crack at reaching 20 wins for the sixth straight season behind juniors Jabari Brown and Jordan Clarkson, who are the nation’s third-highest scoring pair at 38.6 points per game.

• BOTTOM LINE: A loss to Mississippi State would effectively cripple any NCAA Tournament hopes, barring a championship run in the SEC Tournament. Not that Tigers fans should worry too much against a Bulldogs team ranked No. 223 in the NCAA’s RPI. Missouri is 13-2 at home and believes that Mizzou Arena is the perfect prescription for ending the recent slide.

PNo.Mississippi StateHt.Yr.PPG
F20Gavin Ware6-9So.10.3
F25Roquez Johnson6-7Jr.9.7
G4Trivante Bloodman6-0Jr.6.7
G15I.J. Ready5-11Fr.6.3
G32Craig Sword6-3So.13.3

PNo.MissouriHt.Yr.PPG
F3Johnathan Williams III6-9Fr.6.1
F44Ryan Rosburg6-10So.4.8
G5Jordan Clarkson6-5Jr.18.6
G32Jabari Brown6-5Jr.20.1
G33Earnest Ross6-5Sr.14.3

| Tod Palmer, tpalmer@kcstar.com

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