Missouri men’s basketball is entering a pivotal year under third-year coach Kim Anderson and the road before him finally has been laid out.
The SEC announced the schedule for its men’s basketball conference slate on Tuesday and for only the second time in five seasons the Tigers don’t play at Kentucky.
The Wildcats will play Feb. 21 at Mizzou Arena in the only meeting of the season.
Mizzou lost 88-54 in Lexington last season and 86-37 at Rupp Arena two years ago. The Tigers took Kentucky to overtime during the 2012-13 season in a road contest before falling 90-83.
Among Mizzou’s other home games, LSU hits town Jan. 4 for both teams’ conference opener, an 8 p.m. tipoff on a Wednesday.
The game — along with 16 of the team’s 18 conference games — will be televised on the SEC Network.
“The most exciting part of unveiling the 2017 Southeastern Conference schedule is seeing the number of opportunities that our young team will have to play in front of our outstanding Mizzou fans,” Anderson said in a statement from Mizzou Athletics. “The SEC never gets any easier, but it’s a challenge we’re looking forward to facing with this squad. Making Mizzou Arena one of the best possible environments for basketball starts with us, so we’ll be working as hard as we can every possible day until the season gets here.”
Auburn (Jan. 10), Mississippi (Jan. 21), South Carolina (Jan. 28), Arkansas (Feb. 4), Vanderbilt (Feb. 11), Alabama (Feb. 15) and Texas A&M (Feb. 28) also travel to Columbia during the conference season.
The Tigers’ only games not on the SEC Network are road contests Jan. 18 at Alabama (ESPNU) and Feb. 2 at Florida (ESPN or ESPN2).
Missouri, which is 19-44 during Anderson’s first two seasons with identical 3-15 records in conference both seasons, opens the road portion of the SEC schedule Jan. 7 at Georgia.
The Tigers also travel to Arkansas (Jan. 14), Mississippi State (Jan. 25), Texas A&M (Feb. 8), Tennessee (Feb. 18), Mississippi (Feb. 25) and wrap up the regular season at Auburn (March 4).