Big 12 Conference Basketball: Missouri Tigers vs. Kansas State Wildcats

No. 6 Missouri Tigers at No. 22 Kansas State Wildcats
Saturday, 1/7/12, 1:30 PM EST, TV:  ESPN3
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The Kansas State Wildcats are 7-0 ATS when hosting the Missouri Tigers

Missouri is one of four unbeaten teams nationally and is coming off a dominating 87-49 win over the Oklahoma Sooners as 12.5-point home favorites.  The Tigers have played only one true road game, picking up a 75-68 victory over the Old Dominion Monarchs on Dec. 30.  “I want our guys to relax,” commented Tigers head coach Frank Haith.  “I say that every game.”  These two programs have met 233 times and the Tigers have tallied a 117-116 record.  Missouri is 16-38 ATS on the road.

The Tigers currently lead the nation in field goal percentage at 52.2 percent, ranking second nationally in scoring 86.2 points per game.  Senior Kim English has been red hot over the past four games, shooting 54 percent from the floor, which has helped him average 16 points over that span.  Despite running a four-guard lineup, Missouri still holds a +4 rebounding edge over opponents.  When the team needs a lift off the bench, junior Mike Dixon provides the energy, averaging 12.6 points and 3.1 assists per game.

Kansas State opens the Big 12 portion of its home schedule on Saturday afternoon and has won 13 straight games inside Bramlage Coliseum.  The Wildcats are 62-43 all-time at home in the series with seven consecutive wins dating back to the 2005 campaign.  Junior guard Rodney McGruder leads in the team in averaging 12.7 points per game and has started 47 games in a row.  He has scored in double figures in three consecutive games.  Kansas State is 4-0 ATS following a straight-up loss.

The Wildcats will look to get past a disappointing 67-49 loss to the Kansas Jayhawks as 10-point road underdogs in their last contest.  Kansas State has been a very balanced team on the offensive end, with seven players averaging six or more points, including three in double figures.  On the defensive end, the program still gets after its opponents, allowing just 62.1 points on 37.4 percent shooting.  Heading into this particular contest, the team ranks 12th in field goal defense and third in blocked shots.  The bench has played an important part in the program’s success this year, averaging 22.6 points per game.

Bettors will likely back the Wildcats due to their 7-0 ATS mark as a host in this series, while the Tigers are 1-4-1 ATS in their last six conference games.

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