Show Me My Opponent, 2020-21: Missouri (#1)

Yeah, this is a big one. The Missouri Tigers are 6-0, #12 in the nation, and own wins over KenPom #17 Oregon (83-75) and #6 Illinois (81-78). Tennessee has yet to play an opponent who’s looked this good yet, though Colorado has come pretty close. For all intents and purposes, this is the premier game of SEC Basketball this winter, as Tennessee and Missouri look to be the SEC’s two best teams. Obviously, the conference has reacted appropriately by putting this game at 9 PM on a Wednesday night on SEC Network, opposite the Cotton Bowl where the #7 and #6 college football teams play each other.

Anyway, all of the things you already know – Cuonzo Martin used to coach Tennessee, they made the Sweet Sixteen once, things didn’t end so well – are mostly covered on the following pages. There’s a lot of words to come, but here’s the basics you need to know:

  • Missouri’s had four fantastic performances (Oral Roberts, Oregon, Wichita State, Illinois) and two…fine-ish ones (Liberty, Bradley).
  • This is Tennessee’s closest projected game of the SEC season, per Bart Torvik.
  • Tennessee has topped 1.25 PPP offensively in four straight games; Missouri hasn’t allowed an opponent to top 1.056.
  • Tennessee has held all six opponents below a point per possession on defense; Missouri has gotten to at least 1.066 PPP in five of six games.
  • This is, uh, important.

The below section is game information to relieve pressure from Grant Ramey’s mentions.

  • THE OPPONENT: #12 Missouri (6-0).
  • THE TIME: 9:00 PM ET.
  • THE CHANNEL: SEC Network.
  • THE SPREAD: Tennessee -3 or -3.5, depending on where you look.

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