Last (and best) chance for home win number three. Let's go, Mizzou!
March 3, 2015, 8:00 PM CT
Tiger Radio Network
Mike Kelly, Gary Link
It was a brutal loss at Auburn that started the 13-game skid that ended against Florida. Cinmeon Bowers racked up 20 points and 14 rebounds in an ugly, physical game that Mizzou couldn't quite close out. Tonight, Mizzou has a chance to take revenge and finish the home slate with a win.
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These are both bad teams that match up almost perfectly everywhere but the FT Rate. Given SEC officiating's affinity for the home court bias, that should be less of a factor than it was when these teams played at Auburn Arena. If Mizzou can find some offensive efficiency against a bad Auburn defense, they have a good shot at winning this game.
Auburn basically brings three good players to the table in any game - Bowers, K.T. Harrell, and Antoine Mason. Mason will be missing this game due to the untimely passing of his father, Anthony Mason, which means that Mizzou has to keep two guys from going off and carrying this Auburn team to victory.
Bottom line is, both of these are bad teams at the end of bad seasons. Neither Auburn nor Missouri has a shot at the postseason short of a miraculous run through the SEC Tournament, so these teams are winding down and getting ready for an offseason of trying desperately to build on whatever good can be gleaned from a messy 2015. The winner may well come down to the team that's more motivated out of the gate.
On Senior Night, the good guy Tigers should be amped up for Keith Shamburger and Keanau Post. If they can harness that energy into a strong start on both ends of the court, Auburn may not have the players nor the motivation to fight back. If both teams play sloppy from the start, this game will be a crap shoot.
This season hasn't been what any of us hoped for (least of all the seniors who are departing), but a win tonight gives Mizzou a shot at double digit wins in 2015, and, well, that's something, anyway.