The 8th ranked Missouri Tigers (25-4) will try to rebound after a crushing 1 point overtime loss to Kansas as the Jayhawks grabbed a share of the Big-12 Title when they host the Iowa State Cyclones (21-8). The Cyclones are coming in with momentum having won 3 straight games.
Tip-off for this matchup is scheduled Wednesday, 8:00 pm ET at Mizzou Arena in Columbia, Missouri
NCAA basketball odds list Missouri as a 10 point favorite and the total is 146.5.
Missouri will need to shake off a bad loss where they gave up a 19 point lead. Their ranking has slipped 5 spots to 8th in the nation. Not only have the Tigers lost 2 straight games but Iowa State is coming off of a victory over a Kansas State team that Missouri was unable to beat. The Tigers have picked the wrong time for a losing streak. Have they lost their edge that great teams have?
There's no disgrace in losing to a Kansas team by one point on the road that's dominated this conference over the last decade. However, the Tigers are also coming off of a poor performance against Kansas State in where they lost by double digits. Kansas State seem's to have Missouri's numbers as they've defeated the Tigers twice this season. It's safe to say that if your Missouri, you don't want to play Kansas State in the Big 12 Conference tournament.
Denmon is "da man"
Missouri is ranked 7th in the nation in points and senior guard Marcus Denmon is one of the main reasons why this team is explosive. He brings an added ability to rebound (5.1 rebounds per game) which is one of the few weaknesses that Missouri has as a team.
Denmon has ice water in his veins. If this game comes down to a free throw shooting contest or just a close game in general, Denmon is almost automatic; shooting a scorching hot 90.2% from the free throw line. In a lineup of a team that can shoot the outside, jumper Denmon fits in well, averaging 46.8% from the field and 41% from 3 point range. The ironic thing about it is that Denmon is the 3rd most efficient shooter on the team but when the Tigers need a bucket, they pass the ball to number 12.
In the overtime defeat to Kansas, Marcus Denmon shot the lights out with 28 points on 6 of 10 shooting from 3 point range. Look for this super senior to come up huge in this game as Missouri can't afford to lose 3 straight as the schedule comes to a close.
Time is of the essence
Senior forward Ricardo Ratcliffe can feel his college career coming to an end and he also came up big in the Kansas defeat. Ratcliffe scored 22 points and grabbed 12 rebounds on 8 of 13 shooting in just 27 minutes. This isn't a guy that's going to put up 20 shots per game but what he put's up, he usually makes. Along with a much needed rebounding presence, Ratcliffe is averaging 71.2% from the field this year! The Tigers need a big game from Ricardo in this spot. He'll give them the rebounding but scoring has been inconsistent as of late.
Senior guard Scott Christopherson has proven to be the main ingredient in the Cyclones current 3 game winning streak. If he has another performance like the previous 3, the Tigers could find themselves in some trouble.
Christopherson is averaging a respectable 12.1 points per game on a team with no legitimate star. He also shoots well, 47.9% from 3 point range to be exact, on a team where each player fills their particular roles well. The Cyclones have been getting the best out of this senior's game as he can smell the Big Dance.
In his last 3 games, Scott Christopherson is averaging 20 points, 4.5 rebounds, and 3 assists. Christopherson is shooting 14 of 19 free beyond the arc. Missouri can ill-afford to leave this man open as he's nearly automatic.
Player to watch: Sophomore forward Royce White imposes his will at a hefty 270 pounds. He's nearing stardom as he matures. White can do it all. averaging 12.8 points, 9.2 rebounds, 5.1 assists, 1.2 steals, and 1 block per game. This is a very active player that can dominate the boards and give Missouri major trouble. He's been inconsistent as of late but if White play's well, I like Iowa State's chances.
Wednesday night Big-12 Super Pick
Look for this to be a close game. Missouri has to be lacking a little confidence after their previous two losses and the prospect of a 3rd straight loss. Marcus Denmon should play a major role in this crucial game but Iowa State has the overall toughness to cover the spread and I look to them in my NCAA basketball picks for today.
Iowa State +10