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Game Thread: Tigers vs Volunteers

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After getting blown out at home the last time these two met, the Tigers will look to avenge that loss and add another quality win to their tournament resume.

NCAA Basketball: South Carolina at Missouri Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

The Missouri Tigers were dealt a huge reality check the last time these two met. Tennessee looked the far superior team, and the Tigers were overmatched from the tip. If the Tigers want to keep their hopes of a conference championship up, this game is a must-win. Will Cuonzo Martin get his team adjusted, or will Tennessee remind the conference just how good they can play?

Second Half Notes

  • Tilmon’s involvement is the key to polishing off this big road victory
  • If Mizzou gets three happy and start shooting too many, that will be the reason they lose this game. They need to continue attacking and dish it to Tilly or a shooter. Pull up threes are not the right offense for this team.
  • The Tigers got in the bonus with 15 minutes to play, and with a lead, that makes it that much easier to play.
  • Mizzou really didn’t want to pull away during that stretch where they let Tennessee get back in the game.
  • If Smith and Pinson can be 80% of what they’ve been tonight during every game, the Tigers will become much more efficient and nearly impossible to guard with the way Tilly is playing.
  • The move that Pinson put on Fulkerson with about two minutes left for a layup was incredible. He’s been locked in all night.
  • Mizzou definitely could have made this game a little easier on themselves as they got a little too relaxed down the stretch, but nevertheless going on the road against a top-10 and winning is something you’ll always take.

First Half Notes

  • The Tigers got off to a much better start than the December meeting. Avoiding a slow start was massive if this team wanted a chance of winning this game.
  • Tennessee’s inability to hit free throws could give Mizzou a great advantage. It’s no secret that the Tigers don’t give up many easy buckets, so FTs could be Tennessee’s kryptonite tonight.
  • Opening 5 minutes of this game have been eerily similar to the last meeting, only the teams have reversed roles.
  • The Tigers actually made some threes to open the game and if they keep it up, it will open the offense up even more.
  • This might be the best offensive performance the Tigers have had all year. Pinson already has 19 with 4 minutes left in the first, it seems like they’re clicking on all cylinders.
  • The level of play from Pinson and Smith in this half has been absurd. If Tilly can get in on the action a little more, the Tigers should win this game.

>>>LINK TO TENNESSEE PREVIEW HERE<<<

The Details

Opponent: Volunteers (10-2)

Time: 7:30 p.m. CT

Where: Thompson-Boling Arena, Knoxville, Tennessee

Is Mizzou Receiving Top 25 Votes? Yes! They’re No. 19

What Does Vegas Say? Tennesse -8.5

Where To Watch: SEC Network | WatchESPN

Radio: Tiger Radio Network // Sirius/XM -119/199

Twitter: @MizzouHoops

Facebook: Mizzou Men’s Basketball

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Five Questions!

  1. Will Tilly stay hot, or will Pons and Fulkerson be able to slow him down?
  2. Will the Tigers keep it close for 40 minutes?
  3. Will Mark Smith carry his hot streak from South Carolina into this game?
  4. Who is your trifecta for the game?
  5. What will the final score be?