Missouri puts a 25-game home winning streak and a string of 80 straight home victories against non-conference opponents on the line when it hosts Long Beach State on Saturday. It's the final tuneup for the 25th-ranked Tigers before they open Southeastern Conference play. The 49ers have won three straight following a nine-game skid.
The Tigers return home after a pair of close contests - a 65-64 loss to Illinois in St. Louis and a 68-64 win at North Carolina State last Saturday - and look to continue their dominance at Mizzou Arena. Long Beach State is wrapping up a brutal non-conference schedule that included losses to Arizona, Kansas State, Michigan, Virginia Commonwealth, Washington, Creighton and N.C. State. The 49ers have one win against a major-conference opponent - a 72-71 home victory over Southern California to start their three-game winning streak.
TV: 5 p.m. ET, FSN Midwest (Missouri)
ABOUT LONG BEACH STATE (4-9): The 49ers' winning streak has coincided with UCLA transfer Tyler Lamb becoming eligible, as the 6-5 guard has averaged 22 points in his first three games. Lamb and point guard Mike Caffey (17.5 points, 4.5 assists) give Long Beach State a strong backcourt, and forward Dan Jennings (11.6 points, 8.4 rebounds) is solid in the post. The 49ers don't have a deep bench, though, with only one reserve averaging more than 3.5 points.
ABOUT MISSOURI (11-1): Tulsa transfer Jordan Clarkson (20 points, 4.3 assists) continues to carry the Tigers and picked up his third SEC Player of the Week honor this season after putting up 20 points at N.C. State. Clarkson and fellow transfers Jabari Brown (18.1 points, 5.4 rebounds) and Earnest Ross (13.8, 6.4) give Missouri a trio of 6-5 guards who present major matchup problems for most opponents. Freshman Johnathan Williams III (6.8, eight) is the team's leading rebounder and is coming off one of his best offensive performances with 10 points against the Wolfpack.
1. The Tigers are 40-1 at home under coach Frank Haith, and they haven't lost to a visiting non-conference foe since the 2005 preseason NIT.
2. Clarkson has scored 20 or more points in seven of the last eight games.
3. Long Beach State has lost eight straight against ranked opponents since a 68-58 win over Xavier on Dec. 22, 2011.
PREDICTION: Missouri 77, Long Beach State 65