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.
|F||3||Johnathan Williams III||6-9||Fr.||6.1|