OPEN GAME THREAD: Missouri (Big Monday)

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KansasStateMissouri

#24 Kansas State Wildcats (13-5, 1-2) AT #14 Missouri Tigers (15-3, 1-2)

Mizzou Arena — Columbia, Mo.
Monday, Jan. 17, 2011 — 4:35 PM CST

ESPN

In less than five hours, the Unholy Alliance will be sundered as two desperate teams battle like gladiators to avoid falling three games behind Colorado, Kansas, Texas and Texas A&M in the league championship race.

(Note: I'm publishing this thread early because there's no RPI WATCH today and I'm just that jacked for four Big Monday games in a row today.)

Missouri has to be considered the favorite, given that the Tigers are playing at home, in a building in which they usually play out of their minds, and are 3-0 against Frank Martin there. Don't ever confuse Road Mizzou with Home Mizzou.

But the Tigers are less than 48 hours removed from a tough, physical, disappointing loss in College Station that went to overtime — a game they had multiple chances to win, but they blew every single one of them.

As that was playing out, K-State was cruising to a relatively easy and stress-free win over a conference bottom-feeder — and gaining some much-needed confidence in the process.

Against Texas A&M, Missouri forced only nine turnovers and was out-rebounded by a huge margin. The Tigers will have to be immensely better at both facets of the game today if K-State brings the same effort it did Saturday.

Predicting this game is a total crap-shoot, in my opinion. The only prediction I can make is that it's a good thing both teams will have a few extra days to lick their wounds before Saturday's action, because this one will be a bruiser.

You can read my preview of Missouri here or visit with Tiger fans at Rock M Nation.

Predictions:

  • BracketCat: Missouri 85, Kansas State 78
  • GAMER: Missouri 86, Kansas State 76
  • Pomeroy: Missouri 81, Kansas State 74
  • Sagarin: Missouri 89, Kansas State 84

From the K-State Sports Information Department:

No. 24 Kansas State (13-5, 1-2 Big 12) will wrap up a tough stretch of three games in a six-day span this afternoon, when the Wildcats travel to Columbia, Mo., to face the No. 14 Missouri Tigers (15-3, 1-2 Big 12) at 4:30 p.m. in Mizzou Arena.

The squad began the stretch Wednesday with a 74-66 loss at home to Colorado, before getting back on track Saturday with a 94-60 dismantling of Texas Tech at Bramlage Coliseum.

Monday's game will be broadcast nationally as a part of ESPN's Big Monday telecast, with Dave Pasch (play-by-play) and Fran Fraschilla (analyst) on the call.

It will be the first contest of a Big 12 doubleheader on the network, with unbeaten Kansas playing at Baylor at 8:30 p.m.

K-State and Missouri will renew one of the oldest rivalries in the country when the two teams meet for the 232nd time today, including the 105th meeting in Columbia.

The series dates all the way back to 1907, with the teams playing at least twice a season since 1913.

Although the schools disagree on the all-time results, K-State records show a 116-115 advantage in the series, which includes a 40-64 mark in games played in Columbia.

Missouri holds a 17-13 edge since the start of Big 12 play, including a 12-2 mark at home.

The Wildcats have lost three in a row at Mizzou Arena, including a 74-68 loss last season in the conference opener.

The last win came in Bob Huggins' lone season as head coach in 2006-07, when the Wildcats posted an 85-81 victory Jan. 13, 2007.

The teams have split their last six meetings.

The Wildcats snapped a two-game losing streak Saturday when they tallied an impressive 94-60 win over Texas Tech at home.

After starting Big 12 play 0-2 for the sixth time in eight seasons, the squad again showed its resiliency, rebounding to win the third game in that instance for the fifth time.

The last time that happened came in 2006-07, when the team bounced back from setbacks to Texas A&M and Texas Tech to earn an 85-81 win at Missouri.

The Wildcats also won their third game after an 0-2 league start in 2003-04, 2004-05 and 2005-06.

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