Cats look to avoid bad loss against Tigers team


Kentucky freshman forward PJ Washington attempts a basket during the game against Missouri at Rupp Arena on Saturday, February 24, 2018 in Lexington, Ky. Kentucky won 88-66. Photo by Arden Barnes | Staff

Braden Ramsey

Coming off the big win against Tennessee on Saturday, No. 4 Kentucky heads to Columbia for a battle with Missouri. The Cats will look to avoid falling to a Tigers team that sets up a potential trap game with Auburn peeking around the corner.

Missouri has had a steep drop off from last year, when top recruit Michael Porter Jr. and his brother Jontay were suiting up for them. They stand at 12-12 on the season after dropping a road game versus Ole Miss on Saturday, putting them at 3-9 in conference play. They rank 11th in the SEC.

The Tigers were slated for another big year even after the departure of Michael Porter Jr. to the NBA. Jontay was still on the team and had plenty to offer for Missouri. Unfortunately, he suffered a season-ending injury to his ACL and MCL in a scrimmage to start the season. He was projected to be a lottery pick in the upcoming NBA Draft.

While this season has been a difficult one, there is one thing that the Tigers have in its favor for this game: playing in Mizzou Arena. The team is 8-5 in its confines this season, with wins over UCF, Illinois and Arkansas highlighting that success.

Kentucky split their two meetings with Missouri last year, losing 69-60 on the road and winning 87-66 in Rupp Arena. The matchup will be just the 13th between the two schools, which met only four times prior to the Tigers’ joining the SEC. The Cats won 11 of the first 12 contests.

Barring a game in the SEC Tournament, this will be the only time this year that the teams square off. Will Kentucky continue its mighty roll, or will the Tigers spoil the party?

Tip-off is set at 9:00 P.M. ET for Tuesday’s game. The game will air on ESPN.