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Mizzou Hoops Preview and Live Game Thread: The Border War is Upon Us

Mizzou plays host in this year’s rendition of the kansas Border Showdown, as the Tigers look to upset the sixth-ranked jayhawks.

NCAA Basketball: SE Missouri State at Missouri Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Missouri 67 | kansas 95


First Half Notes

  • Same Starters for Mizzou: Nick Honor, DeAndre Gholston, D’Moi Hodge, Kobe Brown and Noah Carter
  • kansas Starters: Dajuan Harris, Gradey Dick, Kevin McCullar, Jalen Wilson and KJ Adams Jr.
  • Tipoff goes to Mizzou, and we are underway. This place is rockin’.
  • Kobe Brown with the first points of the evening to send the crowd into a frenzy.
  • The jayhawks are 4-6 from the field early, while the Tigers have countered with a 2-3 mark.
  • kansas is shooting 77.8% from the field on nine attempts, while Mizzou is at just 42.9%. While its not not likely for The jayhawks to keep up this feat, it’ll be essential for the Tiger defense to slow them down.
  • Tre Gomillion with an effective and-one to respond to kansas’ hot start.
  • Gradey Dick is torching the Tigers, as the freshman is up to 12 points on 5-5 shooting, including a pair of free throws. As a whole kansas is shooting 83.3%, and the Tigers cannot get stops on defense.
  • The biggest difference thus far on the floor is shooting, especially from the three-point line. kansas is 11-14 from the field and 3-4 from beyond the arc, while Mizzou counters with 6-17 and 1-6 notches in each category. The Tigers will need to find a way to score and do so quickly, or this one may get too out of hand early.
  • Both teams entered a scoring drought but a free throw from Hodge ended it. The Tigers are in the bonus now.
  • Mizzou calls another timeout, and things are quickly getting out of hand. Gradey Dick has 15 points for The jayhawks, who are 14-18 from the field.
  • The Tigers cannot buy a basket, or stop. kansas has jumped out to a 19-point lead with no signs of slowing down. If there is any bright side, Gradey Dick finally missed.
  • No Isiaih Mosley yet for the Tigers, meaning he likely won’t be on the floor much if at all.
  • Aidan Shaw with an alley-oop dunk from Nick Honor, and this place went bonkers. 5-0 run for the Tigers.
  • kansas has committed eight turnovers and cooled off considerably following its early shooting success, but still hold a double-digit lead behind its defense, which has limited the Tigers to just 20% from beyond the arc and 33.3% from the field.
  • Mizzou is being outplayed in nearly every metric, besides offensive rebounding, but the Tigers have scored just two points on 11 offensive rebounds. They have also committed nine turnovers to kansas’ eight, but are being outscored 12-6 on points off turnovers.

Second Half Notes

  • Back-to-back turnovers from the Tigers to begin the half. kansas has jumped to a 24-point advantage.
  • Gholston converts an and-one following a Carter layup that gave Mizzou its first points of the half. So far though, it’s been all kansas yet again.
  • The jayhawks are 63% from the field, compared to Mizzou’s 33%. That, alongside four more three-point shot makes, is the difference in this one. It’d take one heck of a run to jump back into this one.
  • Mizzou is on a 6-2 run, but the Tigers have been outscored 16 to 13 in the second half. Staring at a 20-point deficit, the time is now for Mizzou to make one last run at this game.
  • D’Moi Hodge is 4-7 from beyond the arc, providing significant help for the Tigers.
  • Mizzou is eight of its last nine from the field, but kansas continue to score as well. The jayhawks are in double-bonus following a plethora of Tiger fouls.
  • Mizzou has not made a field goal in over four and a half minutes, relying on free throws for its only points. The Tigers are being outplayed in nearly every statistical category and seem to have lost all momentum.
  • The Tigers were outshot in all phases of the game, totaled 21 turnovers to just eight assists and look uncharacteristically uncomfortable.
  • For the second year in a row, kansas has won the Border Showdown.

Pregame Notes

Five Questions!

  1. Will the Tigers cover?
  2. Who will be the leading scorer?
  3. How many 3-pointers will D’Moi Hodge make?
  4. How many assists will the team have in total?
  5. What will the final score be?

Lastly, drop your game predictions and MVPs down below!

A rivalry and hatred unlike any other throughout college basketball returns to Norm Stewart Court for the first time in a decade this evening in the much-anticipated matchup between the Missouri Tigers (9-0) and kansas jayhawks (8-1).

Mizzou faces its former Big 12 foe for the second consecutive season, but this time around, the Tigers will do it at home and with a new regime at the helm.

Dennis Gates & Co. have helped to revitalize the Missouri basketball program, leading the Tigers to their best start since the 2013-14 season. Mizzou is one of just 10 undefeated teams in the country entering the Border Showdown, making this year’s meeting against No. 6 kansas an opportunity for a true Border War.

Entering this afternoon’s Showdown, Mizzou currently ranks No. 50 in KenPom (they topped out at No. 38 after the Wichita State OT win) while its opponent slots in at No. 11, the highest-rated team the Tigers have faced this season. For the second consecutive year, it almost feels like a true David vs. Goliath story, with Mizzou playing with an even larger advantage—they’ve got nothing to lose.

A victory against the jayhawks would likely not only catapult the Tigers into the AP Top 25, but it would mark a large step in the right direction under Gates, who has made it known that his goal is to lead Mizzou to a national championship.

The Tigers will be ready to ROAR back into college basketball relevancy this evening, receiving a golden opportunity to upset an arch-nemesis and do so in front of their ferocious hordes of fans.

Game Info

When: December 10, 2022

Where: Mizzou Arena, Columbia, Mo.

Time: 4:15 p.m. CST


Spread: Mizzou +3.5

KenPom Win Probability: 39%

The Starters


PG: Nick Honor (Grad; 10.0 PPG)

SG: D’Moi Hodge (Grad; 16.7 PPG)

SF: DeAndre Gholston (Grad; 9.2 PPG)

PF: Kobe Brown (SR; 14.3 PPG)

C: Noah Carter (SR; 12.2 PPG)

Key Bench Players: G Sean East II (SR; 10.0 PPG) & G Isiaih Mosley (SR; 9.0 PPG)


PG: Dajaun Harris, Jr. (RS-JR; 8.0 PPG)

SG: Gradey Dick (FR; 15.3 PPG)

SF: Kevin McCullar Jr. (RS-SR; 10.6 PPG)

PF: Jalen Wilson (RS-JR; 21.9 PPG)

C: KJ Adams Jr. (SO; 7.0 PPG)

key bench players: Joseph Yesufu (JR; 5.1 PPG) & Bobby Pettiford Jr. (SO; 3.0 PPG)

**These lineups are projected

Get To Know: kansas “the villain” jayhawks

The true villain of kansas’ lineup I think is forward Jalen Wilson, who will make life difficult on both ends of the floor. Wilson averages 21.9 points per game, which is good enough for 10th in the nation, and adds the 35th-most rebounds per game at 9.3, as well.

Adding to the madness to create a sinister trio are Gradey Dick and Kevin McCuller, Jr., the latter of whom was named a preseason honorable mention nominee for the All-Big 12 team. Dick, a freshman and the 2022 Gatorade Player of the Year, averages 15.3 points per game on 48% shooting, while McCuller, Jr. is the third-leading scorer at 10.6ppg and grabs 7.6 rebounds per contest.

As a whole, the jayhawks average 77.7 points per game while holding opponents to just 65.4 of their own. A pair of reasons for that defensive success are their three-point field goal defense (29.1%) and field goal defense (39.1%), which both rank Top-60 in the country.

Another asset to kansas’ gameplay is a characteristic familiar to fans of Mizzou.

The jayhawks lead the Big 12 with a 1.46 assist-to-turnover ratio, rank second in assists per game (18.0) and make the second-most three-pointers per game (7.7). Those statistics do not necessarily bode extremely well for the Tigers, who run a similar offense and give up quite a few three-pointers.

However, this is not a perfect team, and kansas does showcase a couple weaknesses.

First off, the jayhawks struggle at the free throw line, meaning if there is a close game, those opportunities will be amplified. Facing a sellout crowd at Mizzou Arena, it’s unlikely that kansas will miraculously improve its 65.4% mark from the charity stripe.

Another factor skewing in the Tigers’ direction is the jayhawks’ tempo, which lives in the middle of the pack. Kansas is able to up its tempo at times and take shots quickly when it needs to, especially with fast break opportunities off of turnovers, so that should be noted.

The jayhawks as a whole showcase higher ratings in most metrics, emphasizing why they are the nation’s No. 6 team. Coming off of back-to-back 20+-point victories against Texas Southern and Seton Hall, they will be ready to continue flying toward greatness, but kansas did have eight consecutive days off prior to this matchup, possibly leaving them with a little less oomph.

Even with that thought, a coach like Bill Self will have his players ready to try to match the intensity, as kU looks to improve upon its 175-95 record in the all-time series.

It’ll be up to Mizzou, however, under the direction of Dennis Gates, to alter that course of history and showcase the new brand of Tiger basketball amidst a sell-out crowd and under the spotlight of the entire nation.

3 Keys to the Game

  • Utilize Home Court Advantage!

Welcome to The Jungle.

Mizzou will boast its largest crowd of the season, bringing hordes of students, alumni and other supporters into Mizzou Arena to create the atmosphere that Dennis Gates has hoped for since day one.

With a rambunctious and motivated crowd — they’re giving everyone rally towels! — the Tigers will need to utilize the momentum and support to catapult themselves ahead. A rowdy, raucous atmosphere will play in favor of Mizzou, whose offense is built upon capitalizing on opponent mistakes, creating fast break opportunities and winning the battle of streaks.

At most press conferences, the first thing Gates mentions is the fans and their support, praising the excitement that surrounds the program and urging them to fill the seats. Now, against arguably the most important opponent on its schedule, the Tigers will need to showcase why they deserve that support in Mizzou Arena.

  • Start Fast and Build Upon that Momentum

The best shot Mizzou has at pulling off one of the biggest upsets of this college basketball season is to jump out quickly on offense and keep their foot on the gas pedal.

kansas has not played since December 1, allowing them to become healthier roster-wise, but also meaning that they will need to reestablish rhythm. If the Tigers can capitalize on those early mistakes and limit the jayhawks throughout the first 10 minutes of the first half, then there will be a real shot at victory.

Southern Utah, a fellow up-tempo team, played kansas close early on in the season. Utilizing a similar recipe and pushing its tempo early, Mizzou would be able to dictate the pace of the game and ultimately force the jayhawks into an uncomfortable situation.

  • Win the 3-PT Battle

Three-point defense has not proved to be a strength of Mizzou’s throughout the early-going against mid-major programs.

Now, against a team as talented as kansas, limiting the number of three-point opportunities and makes will essentially dictate whether this game ends with another tally in the win column or becomes another story of what could have been.

The Tigers, meanwhile, shoot 35% from beyond the arc, but they’ll likely need to eclipse that mark in order to steal this one away. If there’s anything we’ve learned from March Madness upsets or early-season downfalls, it’s that the underdog usually wins the three-point battle.

As the role of underdog, it’ll be Mizzou’s responsibility to capitalize from long range and force kansas into contested, tough three-point shot attempts on its end. As with most competitive collegiate basketball games, this one will likely come down to the three-point arc, and being on the positive end will move the Tigers one step closer to 10-0.

Game Prediction

My Prediction: Missouri 84, kansas 80

KenPom Prediction: Missouri 77, kansas 80

It’s a new era of Mizzou men’s basketball, and this’ll be where it’s proven.

There’s no doubt that this game will be a slugfest, and it’ll feature a thrilling, back-and-forth affair between two programs who desperately want to crush each other.

Despite the pressure of facing the nation’s sixth-best team, Mizzou will capitalize behind a sold-out crowd that will sway momentum toward the hometown Tigers. However, the jayhawks will not go down quietly behind a bevy of late three-point shot attempts.

Not only will Mizzou’s starting lineup need to shine, but Gates will have to effectively utilize the bench once again in an attempt to capitalize in every single scenario. The Tigers showcase depth, and that may prove to be the difference.

Unlike years before, these Missouri Tigers are different...

...and this afternoon will prove it.