Colorado-Missouri Preview

BY foxsports • February 4, 2011

Missouri has already been upset by Colorado this season. A matchup at Mizzou Arena may prevent that from happening again.

The No. 14 Tigers look to continue their home dominance and avenge their earlier loss to the Buffaloes on Saturday night.

Missouri (17-5, 3-4 Big 12) lost 89-76 at Colorado (15-8, 4-4) on Jan. 8, ending the Tigers' eight-game winning streak in the series.

A change in venue could be just what the Tigers need to gain a split of the season series. Missouri has won 48 of its last 50 as host, including all 13 this season by an average of 24.4 points.

The Tigers have also dominated the Buffaloes at home, winning 37 of the last 39 in Columbia, Mo., and outscoring them by an average of 22.5 points in winning the last four.

Continuing that success could give Missouri some momentum heading into a visit to No. 2 Kansas on Monday.

The Tigers' road struggles may be undermining its success at home. They've lost four of five as the visitor, including consecutive defeats to Texas and Oklahoma State that have them on the verge of their first overall three-game losing streak since Jan. 16-23, 2008.

Missouri lost 76-70 at Oklahoma State on Wednesday, arriving in Stillwater just six hours before tip-off due to the storm that engulfed most of the Midwest.

"Every night you have to show up," coach Mike Anderson said. "We've got some guys facing some adversity and the usual schedule gets thrown off like it did it's not easy. But we'll go home and regroup."

Marcus Denmon, who had 15 points Wednesday, continues to be the Tigers' top offensive threat. The junior guard leads the team with 16.7 points per game, and he scored 14 against Colorado last month.

He's averaging 19.0 points on 54.1 percent shooting over the last seven home games, and had 21 in a 92-63 win over the Buffaloes in the latest meeting there Feb. 24.

Colorado, which will join the expanded Pac-10 next season, has dropped 34 of 38 on the road. However, the Buffaloes are coming off a 95-69 home win over Iowa State on Tuesday, ending a four-game slide.

"Every game is a must win," coach Tad Boyle said. "I don't look at one as more important than another. We are not going to get too high after wins and we are not going to get too low after losses. We are going to take a business-like approach, and we have to be mentally ready and emotionally ready."

Colorado's up-tempo scheme is a big reason it's third in the conference with 81.7 points per game, while Missouri leads with 83.1. The shift appeared to catch the Tigers off guard as Alec Burks scored a career-high 36 for the Buffaloes and pulled down eight rebounds.

The sophomore guard is second in the Big 12 with an average of 19.8 points, and he's scored 25.3 per game in three career meetings with Missouri.

Burks had 19 points and pulled down 10 boards Tuesday, and has averaged 24.3 points in helping Colorado win two of three games against ranked opponents this season.

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