OLE MISS REBELS (18-4)
at MISSOURI TIGERS (16-6)
Mizzou Arena - Columbia, MO
Tip-off: Saturday, 1:00 p.m. ET
Line: Missouri -6, Total: 154
A key SEC matchup takes place in Columbia, MO on Saturday afternoon when Ole Miss pays its first-ever visit to No. 21 Missouri as conference foes.
The Rebels are having an outstanding season at 18-4 SU (11-6 ATS), which includes a 5-2 mark (SU and ATS) on the road. But they have lost two of three SU with back-to-back double-digit losses to Kentucky and Florida before pounding a horrible Mississippi State team (7-14 SU) by 18 points on Wednesday. Missouri is a disappointing 4-4 SU (2-6 AS) in its past eight games, losing a 70-68 thriller at Texas A&M on Thursday night. These teams met last month, squaring off on Jan. 12 in Oxford, but that wasn't much of a game, as Ole Miss jumped out to a 19-6 lead and coasted to a 64-49 victory.
Can Missouri win big over a quality opponent on Friday? For the answer, connect to College Basketball Best Bets for all the Expert picks throughout the entire 2012-13 season. The experts are a profitable 22-18-2 ATS (55%) in the past five days of college basketball Best Bets. StatFox Gary is a perfect 7-0-1 ATS over this stretch, improving to an impressive 58% ATS (77-56-2) mark for the season. StatFox Dave is 20-14-1 ATS (59%) in the past 12 days to improve to 53.4% ATS (119-104-4) for the season.
Ole Miss is one of the highest-scoring teams in the nation at 79.9 PPG, but this is not a highly-efficient offense with a subpar 43.6% FG clip and just 13.0 APG. Mercurial SG Marshall Henderson (20.0 PPG, 3.4 RPG) is not shy about shooting the basketball with 325 field-goal attempts this season (14.8 per game). He shoots just 39% from the floor, but makes a respectable 37% of his threes and an excellent 86% of his free throws. Henderson was held in check against the Tigers, scoring just 11 points with four turnovers. But in seven games since then, he has a whopping 23.1 PPG. Senior PF Murphy Holloway (15.0 PPG, 10.0 RPG) is the team's only other double-digit scorer, and he's coming off a stellar 24 points (9-of-12 FG) and eight rebounds in Wednesday's win over Mississippi State. Holloway scored a game-high 22 points (8-of-12 FG) with eight rebounds and four steals in last month's win over Missouri. Fellow senior PF Reginald Buckner (9.7 PPG, 7.7 RPG, 2.8 BPG) is also a beast inside, making 60.2% FG this season. Although Buckner was scoreless (0-for-5 FG) against Missouri, he still grabbed 10 rebounds in that game. PG Jarvis Summers (8.9 PPG, 3.9 APG) is a heady player with a 2.77 Ast/TO ratio this season. Summers scored 12 points (8-of-8 FT) in the win over the Tigers on Jan. 12, but made just 2-of-8 FG in the victory.
Missouri also knows how to light up the scoreboard with 75.7 PPG, but also shoots a mediocre 44.7% FG. The Tigers are one of the top rebounding teams in the country though with 41.5 RPG, and have yet to play their best basketball of the season. PF Laurence Bowers (15.5 PPG, 6.2 RPG) rarely misses with his 58% FG clip, including 48% from three-point range. But he had a poor showing against the Aggies on Thursday with just seven points and one rebound in his 12 minutes of foul-plagued action. SG Jabari Brown (14.8 PPG, 4.2 RPG) has been tremendous in SEC play this season, scoring at least 11 points in all nine games and averaging 16.1 PPG against conference opponents. Brown led the Tigers with 13 points and seven rebounds versus Ole Miss, but made just 4-of-13 shots. PG Phil Pressey (12.2 PPG, 7.0 APG) has been wildly inconsistent lately with 25, 4 and 13 points in his past three games. He's made just 2-of-13 threes in these three contests, while committing 13 turnovers, including seven in the loss to Texas A&M. Pressey had 10 points (5-of-11 FG), five assists and five turnovers in last month's defeat to Ole Miss. PF Alex Oriakhi (10.6 PPG, 8.2 RPG) has played pretty well lately with 12.6 PPG and 8.0 RPG in his past five contests. Oriakhi was a non-factor on offense in Oxford last month with just four points, but played strong defense with six rebounds and three blocks. The two other double-figure scorers for Missouri are swingmen Earnest Ross (10.5 PPG, 5.1 RPG) and Keion Bell (10.0 PPG, 4.1 RPG). Ross scored 23 points (5-of-6 threes) in the Tigers' last home game last Saturday, and Bell had 11 points and seven rebounds in Oxford last month.