Feb. 9, 2013; Columbia, MO, USA; Missouri Tigers guard Jabari Brown (32) tries to pass the ball past Mississippi Rebels forward Reginald Buckner (23) during the second half at Mizzou Arena. The Missouri Tigers defeated the Mississippi Rebels 98-79. Mandatory Credit: Dak Dillon-USA TODAY Sports
(KSDK Sports) - Expect a high-scoring affair between the SEC's two top offensive teams, and with both playing well, the game should go down to the wire.
With Ole Miss being desperate for a win to possibly sneak into the NCAA Tournament. The Missouri Tigers appear to be a team heading toward a selection in the tournament, and they're doing their part in making it happen, having started their first SEC Tournament with a solid win over Texas A&M on Thurday.
The Tigers took care of business in the second round by beating Texas A&M by 12 points. It was far from their best offensive performance, as they shot just 44.7 percent from the field and committed 19 turnovers, but they made up for it by playing outstanding defense, holding the Aggies to a lowly 24.1 percent from the floor.
Alex Oriakhi was a steady presence in the paint with 13 points and 10 rebounds, while Laurence Bowers, Jabari Brown and Tony Criswell each netted 10 points in the winning effort. Missouri is usually much more potent at the offensive end, pouring in 76.7 ppg on greater than 46 percent accuracy from the floor.
Pacing six teammates in double figures is Bowers with 14.6 ppg to go along with 6.1 rpg, and Oriakhi (11.4 ppg, 8.5 rpg) teams up with him for one of the top frontcourt duos in the country. Phil Pressey scores 11.5 ppg and hands out an SEC-best 7.1 apg, while Brown (13.9 ppg), Keion Bell (11.4 ppg) and Earnest Ross (10.2 ppg) are all solid shooting guards.
The Rebels are bubble team, who need a win to ensure that they are not on the outside looking in this Sunday when the selections are made for the field of 68. Ole Miss is 12-6 in the SEC, 1-1 in neutral site games, but have bad losses on their resume to Mississippi State and South Carolina.
As a team Mississippi is averaging 79.2 points, 12.9 assists, and they are shooting 43.9 percent while defensively they are allowing 68.6 points, 13.4 assists, and their opponents are shooting 41.3 percent. Marshall Henderson is averaging 19.7 points, Murphy Holloway is averaging 14.6 points and 9.6 rebounds, and Reginald Buckner is averaging 9.4 points and 7.5 rebounds.
Ole Miss lost by 19 at Mizzou in the last meeting of these two.
The winner will advance to Saturday's semifinals to play either Vanderbilt or Kentucky.