Missouri, clawing for their post-season lives thanks to its struggles on the road, welcome the Florida Gators to Columbia on Tuesday night. The Tigers are six point underdogs to the Gators, with the total set at 139.
Missouri averages 84 points per game at home in six SEC games, compared to 64 on the road — a 20-point difference. The Tigers know what they are in for on Tuesday night.
“We’re playing one of the best teams in the country, if not the best team in the country,” coach Frank Haith said Monday. “They’re a very gifted, talented group on both ends of the court. Very good, very sound, experienced.”
Florida has won seven of its 10 road games this season, but the Gators have yet to defeat an NCAA Tournament-quality team on the road. The Gators have beaten their past three conference opponents by an average of 24 points since its lone loss at Arkansas.
“I thought Auburn had a real good environment,” coach Billy Donovan said. “Our guys have played in difficult situations. I don’t think that there’s anything that we’re going to talk about environment-wise that’s going to take our guys totally back or off-guard.”
Florida, ranked #1 in the Pomeroy ratings, is 21-3 overall and 11-1 in the Southeastern Conference. Scoring 1.2 points each possession, Florida ranks first in the conference in Offensive Efficiency. They rank third in turnover percentage, sixth in offensive rebounding, first in three pointers, ninth in free throw percentage, and tenth in pace. Florida’s opponent’s average 0.8 points per possession in the Southeastern Conference, lowest in the conference. They hold opponents to a 42.2% effective field goal rate, first in the Southeastern Conference. They rank fourth in turnover percentage, second in offensive rebounding, in two point field goal percentage, second in three pointers, and eighth in free throw percentage.
Missouri is 7-5 in the Southeastern Conference and 18-7 overall in the 2012-13 season. According to Ken Pomeroy, the Tigers have the #17 rated offense and #66 rated defense in college basketball, adjusted for schedule strength. Missouri is second in the Southeastern Conference in Offensive Efficiency, averaging 1.1 points per possession on offense. They are third in effective field goal percentage in the conference. They rank sixth in turnover percentage, third in offensive rebounding, third in two point field goal percentage, fifth in three pointers, first in free throw percentage, and third in pace. Missouri has the sixth ranked team in the Southeastern in defensive efficiency, allowing 1 points per possession to its conference opponents. Opponents have a 49.1% effective field goal rate, ninth in the conference. They rank eighth in forcing turnovers, first in rebounding, eighth in opponent’s two point percentage, eighth in opponent’s three point percentage, twelfth in blocks, and fifth in steals.