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Open Game Thread: K-State vs. Missouri

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Who: K-State vs. Missouri
When: February 16, 2008 | 5:00 p.m.
Where: Manhattan, Kan. | Bramlage Coliseum (13,340)
Media: 1350 KMAN, Yahoo! Sports | ESPN+

For my "preview" of the first game with Mizzou, check here.  It's not much of a preview, because the Tigers were coming off the Athena nightclub disaster.  This time, they are again without leading scorer Stefhon Hannah, permanently this time.  Jason Horton has also been charged in that incident.

This time around, the Cats really need to be sure to stay focused the entire way through the game.  It should help that the game is in Manhattan, as Mizzou won't have its home crowd to feed off.  Granted, they're still capable of getting insanely hot, but they were dead in the water last time until they hit a couple shots and started getting the crowd fired up.

Let's hope the revenge factor for that earlier loss helps the Cats roll to a victory today.  Here's a look at what else is going on in the Big 12 today...

Colorado at KU
This one is at half as I write this, and the 'beakers are comfortably ahead, as expected.  Not much excitement here.

Oklahoma State @ Texas A&M, 2:30 p.m.
The Pokes are coming off a midweek beatdown of Baylor (that's right, beatdown "of," not beatdown "by."  But the Aggies are the hottest team in conference right now.  At Reed Arena, I'll take A&M.

Nebraska @ Iowa State, 3:00 p.m.
Both teams dropped home games in the midweek, Nebraska to Missouri, Iowa State to Oklahoma.  Hilton is a pretty tough place to play, and Nebraska isn't particularly good on the road.  Still, I think Aleks Maric is going to be hard on ISU inside...but not enough.

Oklahoma @ Texas Tech, 3:00 p.m.
Unlike the NU/ISU game, this one features two teams coming off big wins in the midweek.  If Tech can pick this one up, they can reassert themselves as a team that will push for the last Big 12 bid to the NCAA tournament (yes, I realize the committee doesn't give out quotas to conferences).  Oklahoma also is in a tough spot, needing to make up for the tough stretch after Longar Longar went out, particularly the loss at Colorado.  Picking this one up would make up for that one.  But I'm going with the Red Raiders here.

Texas @ Baylor, 5:00 p.m.
The Longhorns can maintain their claim to the top spot in the Big 12 with a win in Waco this evening.  Baylor, on the other hand, is struggling in the middle of a tough stretch of league games, and is in danger of slipping to the middle of the conference race and being forced to battle with OU for the last spot in the dance.  Texas needs to assert an advantage inside if it can, using Connor Atchley and Gary Johnson.  Baylor needs to defend the three-point shot with its bigger guards.  I'm going with Baylor in a bit of an upset.

Go Cats!