Missouri Tigers at Arkansas Razorbacks
When/Where: Saturday, 6 p.m. ET, Bud Walton Arena, Fayetteville
Spread: Arkansas -15
There’s just one team in the weak SEC that doesn’t have a conference win yet this season and it’s also the school with the only losing overall record in the conference: the sorry Missouri Tigers. They take a trip to Arkansas on Saturday night, and I don’t expect much to change.
Tigers Rolling An Unlucky 7
How does Coach Kim Anderson still have a job? This once was a very good program. It’s now clear that Missouri (5-10, 0-3 SEC) should have never moved to the SEC as the football program has fallen off as well after a couple of surprising seasons. Missouri enters on a seven-game losing streak. For the most part, though, the Tigers have been competitive so that’s something. That was the case on Tuesday vs. Auburn as the visiting Tigers won 77-72. I actually thought Mizzou had a shot to win there because Auburn was missing one of its talented freshman players. Russell Woods’ free throw with 2:27 left tied the game for the fifth time Tuesday. But nine seconds later, Auburn’s Mustapha Heron sank a 3-pointer from the wing to put his team back in front for good.
The difference came down to shooting. Despite corralling 25 offensive rebounds, Missouri only made 22 field goals. The Tigers shot 32.4 percent from the field, the team’s second-worst shooting performance of the season. Auburn blocked 12 shots, a Mizzou Arena record. Missouri’s Jordan Barnett had a career-high 20 points, but former leading scorer Kevin Puryear struggled again with four points on 1-of-10 shooting. “There’s not a whole lot you can do from a motivational standpoint,” Anderson said. “It doesn’t do any good to yell at them and say, ‘stop missing shots.’ One of these games we’ll have that magic moment, and maybe it’ll get contagious.”
Razorbacks Usually Win At Home
Arkansas (12-4, 1-3 SEC) got its lone conference win at Tennessee 82-78 on Jan. 3. The Hogs have dropped two in a row since. On Tuesday, it was 84-78 at home to Mississippi State. Arkansas used a 6-0 run to open the second half to tie the game at 40. The Razorbacks, however, could never regain the lead. Senior Moses Kingsley finished with a season-high 19 points and four rebounds on 7-of-12 shooting. Jaylen Barford put up 10 points and five rebounds for the Razorbacks, who allowed MSU to hit 12 of 26 from long range. The Razorbacks outscored the Bulldogs 36-21 in bench points.
Arkansas is one of five high-major teams in the country to score 70-plus points in 16 games this season. The Razorbacks last scored 70-plus in each of their first 16 games in 1994-95. Arkansas is the only program in the country with two players in the top 30 in the nation in free throw percentage as Daryl Macon is 24th at .910 and Dusty Hannahs is 30th at .906. A victory over the Tigers would make Arkansas one of two programs (Kentucky) in the country with 90 wins and fewer than 15 losses at home over the last six seasons. The Razorbacks are currently 89-14 at Bud Walton Arena during the Mike Anderson era. Of course Anderson is a former Missouri coach back when Mizzou was in the Big 12 and a good team.
- Tigers are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games following a straight up loss.
- Tigers are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 Saturday games.
- Tigers are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games vs. a team with a winning straight up record.
- Tigers are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games overall.
- Razorbacks are 2-8 ATS in their last 10 games vs. a team with a losing straight up record.
- Razorbacks are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 home games vs. a team with a losing road record.
- Razorbacks are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 games following a straight up loss.
- Razorbacks are 1-5 ATS in their last 6 vs. Southeastern.
Since leaving Missouri to come back to Fayetteville, Mike Anderson is 5-3 against his former team, including four straight wins against the Tigers. Last year in Fayetteville, the final score was 84-72. The Hogs built a 17-point first-half lead and never trailed. Hannahs had 22 points and Kingsley 15 points and 12 rebounds. Puryear scored 23 points to lead Missouri. The road team is 5-1 ATS in the past six meetings, but I’m going against that trend.