Tigers hope to reel off second straight W
Missouri hasn’t defeated Xavier since a 72-60 victory on Nov. 24, 2001. Still, could a neutral-court contest in Orlando be just the ticket for Kim Anderson’s crew?
The Tigers and Musketeers help kick off the Tire Pros Invitational this afternoon, with a 1:30 p.m. ET tip at HP Fieldhouse. Online sports book Bovada.lv gives Chris Mack’s troops odds of -1800 to come out on top. Conversely, MU represents a +800 underdog.
On Sunday, Frankie Hughes powered Mizzou to a 99-44 triumph over Alabama A&M. The freshman poured in 23 points, while senior Russell Woods added 12 in 17 minutes. Forwards Kevin Puryear and Willie Jackson also had nine rebounds apiece.
Suffice to say, however, No. 11 Xavier presents a stiffer test. With Trevon Bluiett leading the way, the Musketeers romped past Buffalo three nights ago. Mack’s star junior notched 13 points to go along with three boards. J.P. Macura, Edmond Sumner and Quentin Goodin reached double figures in scoring, too, producing a 86-53 win.
Even though the Big East heavyweights are missing Myles Davis (suspension) and Kaiser Gates (knee injury), it’s hard to imagine Missouri mustering much of a fight. The Tigers’ undersized frontcourt automatically puts them at a disadvantage in terms of countering Xavier’s length. Expect a fairly lopsided tilt by the midway point of the first half.
THURSDAY NCAA FREE PICK: XAVIER -14.5