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Texas Tech Vs. Missouri Preview: Mizzou In Easiest Stretch Of Season, Red Raiders In Most Difficult

The Missouri Tigers are one game into the easiest stretch of their Big 12 season. The Texas Tech Red Raiders are three games into in their most difficult stretch.

After Mizzou's win on Saturday over the Oklahoma Sooners (12-12, 4-6 conference), the Tigers face Texas Tech (11-14, 3-7), Iowa State (14-11, 1-9), Baylor (16-9, 6-5), K-State (16-9, 4-6), Nebraska (16-8, 4-6). That is one team with a winning conference record before the season finale against KU. After this run, at 19-6 overall and 5-5 in conference, one would expect Mizzou to firmly hold a spot in the top four in conference heading into the Big 12 tournament. If they can win on the road...

Conversely, Tech heads to Mizzou Arena after consecutive games against Kansas, Texas and A&M. After tonight's affair they travel to Waco then host CU in what will be a stretch against the current top six teams in the league.

One of Tech's senior leaders is starting to emerge from shadows cast upon himself before conference play. John Roberson was essentially a non-factor as the Red Raiders compiled an 8-7 pre-conference record. Roberson is averaging 15.5 points in conference play and has been on the bench a total of 24 of the Red Raiders' conference 400 minutes.

Tech's other senior, Mike Singletary was hot during the Red Raiders' three game conference win streak, putting in 24 points a game in victories over Nebraska, Iowa State and Oklahoma State, but has cooled down considerably since. And in the A&M loss on Saturday, Singletary played four minutes while suffering through a calf injury. A&M coach Mark Turgeon, though, found Tech more difficult to defend with Singletary on the bench. "They were hard to guard," he said. "They had us spaced out."

For Mizzou to win they need to neutralize Roberson and Singletary. The undersized Roberson should have his hands full with the swarming, interchangeable Mizzou guards: Mike Dixon, Marcus Denmon, Phil Pressey, Matt Pressey, Kim English. If healthy (and Double T Nation says he is), Singletary will either have English or forward Laurence Bowers matched up against him. Either poses a tough defensive struggle for the Red Raider forward.

The game tips at 6:00 p.m. and can be seen nationally on ESPN2.