The Missouri Tigers are 13-0 at Mizzou Arena this season. The Colorado Buffaloes are 2-6 on the road (one of those wins was at Cal State Bakersfield). Isolated that stat would lead you to believe that Mizzou will run away with this one.
Not so fast, my friends.
When the two teams met to tip off Big 12 play in Boulder, CU used 36 points from Grandview, MO native Alec Burks to post a 13 point win. The Buffs owned the game, registering more rebounds and assists than the Tigers and holding Missouri to 40.6 percent shooting from the field and 25 percent shooting from three-point range.
Burks is averaging 21.1 points per game in league play and is joined by fellow guard Cory Higgins - and his 15.5 average in Big 12 games - form the best backcourt in the conference, and arguably in the nation.
And while CU has the best backcourt tandem, Mizzou might feature the best backcourt quartet in the conference. Mike Dixon, Marcus Denmon, Phil Pressey and Kim English combine for a shade over half of Mizzou's team points per game, putting in 43.2 points while dishing out 12.1 assists a game.
So if we call the backcourts a wash, the game might come down to the interior, where CU freshman Andre Roberson is starting to really find his game. The lanky forward is coming off a 13 rebound, nine point performance in a blowout win against Iowa State.
Ratliffe is averaging 12.1 points against Big 12 opponents this season, and uses his size, and a slew of pump fakes, to muscle his way inside. Ratliffe and Laurence Bowers are the two best MU big men, with Bowers being the shot blocking one of the two.
So, to predict a winner is to predict which side will use the inside to their advantage, and maybe also to see who had home cooking the night before.
6:30 p.m. CT tip for this one which can be seen on ESPN3.com.