January 28, 2009

Tigers look for fifth straight at K-State

Missouri looks to collect its fifth consecutive Big 12 win this evening when the Tigers travel to Manhattan to face the Kansas State Wildcats. Missouri is 17-and-3 overall and 4-and-1 in Big 12 play. Kansas State is 12-and-7 and 1-and-4. Missouri leads the overall series 114-113, but K-State leads 57-44 in Manhattan.

Three Keys to the Game

Shoot it Well: This seems fairly elementary. The more shots that go in, the more you win. But for the Tigers, it's even more glaring than you might expect. In Mizzou's last two road wins, the Tigers are 66-for-135 from the floor (48.9%). In the last two losses away from home, Mizzou is 41-for-109 (37.6%).

Turn it Over: Everyone knows turnovers are a key to Mike Anderson's system. The Tigers are forcing second in the country, forcing 7.1 more turnovers per game than they commit. Mizzou is forcing a turnover on 26.6% of its opponents possessions and turning those into more than 20 points per game. Against Texas Tech, J.T. Tiller had seven steals, falling one short of the school record.

Back to the Eighties: Missouri leads the Big 12 in scoring at 85.2 points per game. When Mizzou has scored at least 80 points this season, the Tigers are 14-and-0. When they've failed to hit 80, they are 3-and-3. Even more glaring, Missouri has been held under 75 points just three times. The Tigers have lost all three.

Official Prediction: Missouri keeps up its hot play. It is never easy to win in Manhattan for Mizzou and it won't be tonight either. The Tigers use defense to key an 88-83 win.

PowerMizzou.com will provide complete coverage from Bramlage Coliseum tonight.

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