The SEC unveiled its 2023-2024 conference basketball schedule on Monday, with programs finding out who they will be playing at home and on the road.
Here’s a very quick synopsis of the impact each matchup may have on Mizzou’s season:
Alabama (Away): After being trampled by the Crimson Tide in 2023, Missouri will look to return the favor at Coleman Coliseum. Bama did lose No. 2 overall pick Brandon Miller, No. 21 overall pick Noah Clowney, center Charles Bediako and point guard Jahvon Quinerly, meaning there is plenty of retooling to do in T-town. A win in this game could end up being the crown jewel of the Tigers’ road efforts.
Arkansas (Home and Away): The Tigers will again take on their rivals twice, with each matchup likely being a Quad 1 or 2 opportunity for both sides. The Razorbacks will again be one of the more talented teams in the SEC. Per usual, expect some high-energy, tight games in this series.
Auburn (Home): The last time Auburn visited Mizzou Arena they narrowly escaped with a victory as the No. 1 team in the nation during the 2021-22 season. Bruce Pearl’s bunch will again reside among the best in the SEC, but between this and the Tennessee game, Dennis Gates and Co. will need to pick up at least one of those home victories.
Florida (Home and Away): This series has revenge written all over it. The Gators defeated Missouri 73-64 in their lone matchup last season, a game that went on to serve as arguably the Tigers’ worst loss of the season. Todd Golden will be chasing an NCAA Tournament berth in his second season, making this a pivotal swing series for both teams.
Georgia (Home): If there is such a thing in the SEC nowadays, this is a must-win game for Mizzou. Mike White certainly exceeded expectations in his first season in Athens, but his Bulldogs are still a year or two away from challenging for an NCAA tourney berth.
Kentucky (Away): This may also have revenge written all over it...but in the opposite direction. Missouri dismantled the ‘Cats by a score of 89-75 at home in late December to kick off SEC play, a victory that set the tone for the Tigers’ conference run. Coach Cal’s group will (shocker) again be among the most talented teams in the country, and they will be ready for this one.
LSU (Away): Much like it was last season, this could be a trap game (depending on when it falls on the schedule). The turmoil surrounding LSU’s program seemed to hinder it during conference play last season, as the Bayou Bengals suffered through a 14-game losing streak. The talent has been there for years, but Matt McMahon has his work cut out for him to turn this thing around amidst so much outside noise.
Mississippi State (Home): After splitting the two-game series last season, the Tigers and Bulldogs will only meet up in Columbia this season. Still, with both of these teams having resided on the proverbial “bubble” for much of last season and seeming like they will do so again in ‘23-24, this will be a pivotal game for both sides.
Ole Miss (Home and Away): Missouri has had the Rebels’ number for two years now, having won the last five matchups with Ole Miss. This is a series that Mizzou can ill-afford to drop a game in, but with Chris Beard now in Oxford and Matthew Murrell returning for his senior season, completing the sweep will be no easy task.
South Carolina (Home and Away): Despite landing 5-star recruit G.G. Jackson, the Gamecocks struggled in Lamont Paris’ first season. This is another must-win series, although SC tends to be a team that pulls off a couple stunners in conference play each year.
Tennessee (Home): Outside of potentially Arkansas, this is the headliner for home games at Mizzou Arena in 2023-24. Missouri ripped the hearts out of every Tennessee fan’s chest during the regular season in 2023 and dominated in the SEC Tournament Quarterfinals later in the year. Both of those victories headlined the Tigers’ résumé, and a win at home in this game could do the same yet again. Yes, Santiago Vescovi is back for another season. No, Uroš Plavšić is not.
Texas A&M (Home and Away): One could argue this was the team that truly figured Missouri out last season. The Aggies convincingly swept Mizzou, as the Tiger offense struggled to get going in both outings. Buzz Williams returns nearly his entire roster from a team that disappointed everyone with a first-round exit as a No. 7 seed in the NCAA Tournament. The Aggies will be among the favorites in the conference, and Mizzou will be hard-pressed to pick up a win in either game.
Vanderbilt (Away): Jerry Stackhouse has officially revitalized the Commodores basketball program, and after being a couple wins away from the NCAA Tournament last season, his Vandy team will be itching to finish the job this year. Winning at Memorial Gymnasium is never easy, and the Commodores will be a team capable of going toe-to-toe with Gates and Co. just like they did in COMO last season.