Expect Arkansas To Hand Missouri School-Record-Tying 12th Loss In Row
The University of Missouri has a proud basketball history but the program is in disarray right now under first-year Coach Kim Anderson as the school puts an 11-game losing streak on the line Wednesday night at No. 18 Arkansas, which is a 17.5-point favorite on Bovada’s NCAA basketball odds.
No Postseason For Tigers
Missouri (7-18, 1-11 SEC) lost 77-74 at home to Mississippi State on Saturday. After taking an 11-point halftime lead, the Bulldogs converted all six of their free throws in the final minute to edge the Tigers, who lost their 11th consecutive game since winning their SEC opener against LSU on Jan. 8. That skid is one away from tying the program record that last happened in both the 1965-66 and ’66-67 seasons. Johnathan Williams III finished with a career-high 27 points for Missouri, while Keith Shamburger added 15 and Ryan Rosburg a season-high 12.
Missouri freshman guards Montaque Gill-Caesar and Namon Wright returned Saturday from suspension, but combined for only eight points. Freshman guard Tramaine Isabell, meanwhile, missed his fifth consecutive game after coach Kim Anderson described his behavior as “unacceptable” last month. Things are made more difficult now with Missouri’s most consistent player, sophomore guard Wes Clark, out for the season with a dislocated elbow. He’s second on the team in scoring, rebounding and assists.
The Missouri school record for losses in a season is 22. The Tigers currently have 18 losses and BPI favors them in just one of their last six regular-season games. With two more conference losses, the Tigers will tie the school record for most conference losses in a season with 13.
Could Hogs Beat Kentucky?
The No. 18 Razorbacks (20-5, 9-3) have been considered the best non-Kentucky team in the SEC for much of this season. And while they’re nowhere near the Wildcats, they also appear to rank comfortably ahead of teams like Georgia, Mississippi and LSU. The Hogs won 71-70 at Ole Miss on Saturday for their fourth straight win. Manuel Watkins, a seldom-used reserve, hit the go-ahead jumper with 6.4 seconds left. Arkansas won for the seventh time in eight games to take sole possession of second place in the league.
Arkansas is one of five teams (Duke, Kansas, Villanova, Virginia) with three top 40 RPI road wins – SMU (No. 22), Georgia (No. 30) & Ole Miss (No. 38). It owns a 5-2 record in SEC games decided by five points or less and have won three conference games after trailing at the half. Bobby Portis leads the SEC in scoring in league play (18.7).
Arkansas will be going for its first regular season sweep of the Tigers since they joined the SEC three years ago. On Jan. 24 in Columbia, the Razorbacks won 61-60. Clark shot two free throws with 3.3 seconds remaining, down by a single point. Both attempts bounced off the rim. Arkansas’ Rashad Madden grabbed the rebound, but wasn’t fouled as the Tigers stood in shock. Portis led the Hogs with 12 points and 10 rebounds. Portis is one of just three high-major players in the country averaging at least 17.5 rebounds and 8.5 rebounds per game entering Wednesday’s contest. Duke’s Jahlil Okafor (18.2 & 9.3) and Rakeem Christmas (17.7 & 9.2) from Syracuse are the other two players.
Key betting trends: Tigers are 6-2 ATS in the last 8 meetings. Underdog is 6-1 ATS in the last 7 meetings. Razorbacks are 5-0 ATS in their last 5 vs. Southeastern.
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