The No. 7 ranked Missouri Tigers stalk into Westwood, Calif., having won their last six battles and carrying a 10-1 record on the season. But the team from Columbia, Mo., might be more paper than Tiger and are perhaps not the mighty hunters they appear to be from the safety of a statistics sheet.
Mizzou has played a particularly weak non-conference schedule, ranking 148 out of 347 teams, and the two true tests they have had came at neutral sights.
Mizzou was blown out of the semifinals of the Battle 4 Atlantis tournament at Paradise Island, Bahamas, by then No. 2 ranked Louisville, 84-61. The game was not close in any aspect and the Tigers never managed to force the Cardinals to even flutter their wings in fear of a rush.
But the Tigers bodied-up and went rough against then No. 10 ranked Illinois, winning the border-state Braggin' Rights game 82-73—their fourth straight victory over the Illini in the series.
The UCLA game will be Mizzou's first true road game of the young season. But the Tigers represent a potentially lethal challenge for the Bruins in several particular areas. Check out these five key areas of the game UCLA will have to control if they want to send Mizzou home with a limp tail.