Missouri vs Mississippi State: 2022-23 SEC basketball game preview, prediction
Since beating Tennessee on the road in a buzzer-beating thriller, Missouri has dropped two straight. The Tigers have struggled in those games, as they haven’t shot over 40% FG in either. They have also averaged just 58 PPG in those two. Keep in mind, the Tigers have the second highest overall shooting percentage in the SEC, and the 3rd highest BPI on offense in the SEC at 7.5.
Though, on the other side has been their defense which has struggled all season, evident by their 2nd worst defensive BPI in SEC basketball.
The defense continues to be a focal point of struggle as it yields the most points PPG in the SEC, and hurts Missouri in games where they have struggled to shoot, most notably the last two.
Buckets won’t come easy against Mississippi State.
Defense has been crucial all year to Mississippi State. Outside of Tennessee, Mississippi State gives up the 2nd least points in the SEC, at just 59.3. That is a remarkable 16.2 less than Missouri.
While the Bulldogs don’t pose quite the threat that the Tigers do on offense, they’ve won 6 of their last 7, including a win against Missouri just last month, where they limited a high-scoring Tigers offense to just 52 points, its lowest all season.
Like Texas A&M, the team Missouri just lost to, the Bulldogs are playing exceptionally well with a strong defense, and able to score just enough to close out games. They are battle tested, as they almost knocked off Alabama on the road last month.
This is a strong team with a lot of momentum, and I don’t expect that to change when the Bulldogs head to Missouri.
The difference in this one will be the defense, and I see the Bulldogs defense doing just enough to stymie a potent yet volatile Tigers offense, which, has been the latter as of recent.
I’m taking Mississippi State by 7.
Missouri 62, Mississippi State 69