No. 3 Missouri (25-6, 12-4) vs. No. 11 Texas Tech (14-18, 3-13)
When: Thursday, March 12 at 9:30 p.m. EST
Spread: Missouri -10.5
Backcourt Advantage: Even
Thanks to a first-round bye, Missouri is in the second round of the Big 12 tournament for the first time in four years. Until late last night, the Tigers probably did not expect their opponent to be Texas Tech, who shocked sixth-seeded Texas A&M with an 88-83 comeback win in the first round.
To say the Red Raiders have been a disappointment this season is an understatement. Texas Tech only managed to win three games in conference play, while going 2-10 versus the RPI top 50. Senior guard Alan Voskuil (14.1 PPG) and sophomore John Roberson (14.4 PPG) are the leading scorers of coach Pat Knight's inconsistent Texas Tech team.
Frontcourt Advantage: Missouri
Coming off the biggest comeback in Big 12 tournament history, Texas Tech is hoping forward Mike Singletary (12.1 PPG) stays red-hot. Singletary came off the bench and scored 29 consecutive points in the second half for the Red Raiders to seal the victory in a game in which they trailed by as many as 21 points early in the second half.
Missouri senior forwards DeMarre Carroll (17.1 PPG) and Leo Lyons (14.4 PPG) will be ready and waiting for Singletary and the Red Raiders. The Tigers are averaging 81.8 points per game this season, good for sixth in the nation and second in the Big 12. While scoring at such a high rate, they lead the nation with 18.8 assists per game.
As good as Missouri's offense is, its defense has been solid all year as well. The Tigers rank second in the nation with 10.8 steals per game. They will try to overwhelm the Red Raiders with their high-intensity, high-pressure defense.
Texas Tech is riding high after last night's comeback upset win, while Missouri is seeking its first Big 12 tournament win since 2005. The Tigers beat the Red Raiders 97-86 at home on Jan. 24. In that game, Texas Tech had no answer for DeMarre Carroll, who scored 27 points, while grabbing six rebounds and dishing out four assists.
While Texas Tech winning would be a nice Cinderella story, the Tigers are on a mission and they will be determined to get the early-exit monkey off their back. A win over Texas Tech won't come easy, but they have the fire power to get it done.
Shaun's Pick: Missouri -10.5