Missouri Tigers at Florida Gators – NCAAM March 3

Missouri (14-7, 7-7) at Florida (13-6, 9-5)

  • Time: 3:30 PST – 5:30 CST – 6:30 EST
  • Place: Exactech Arena at the Stephen O’Connell Center, Gainesville, Fla.
  • TV: SEC Network

Opening Tip:

A scintillating matchup of two teams who are looking to improve their NCAA Tournament resumes with Selection Sunday just 11 days away.

Missouri has lost three out of it’s last five games as the Tigers are looking to recapture the style of play that staked them to a 7-0 start in the non-conference.

Florida has won three in a row and has comprised a 3-1 record since a two-week covid pause caused the Gators to lose three games in early February.

Florida leads the series, 7-3, as Missouri ended a four-game Gators winning streak last year with a 91-75 win in Columbia.

Vs. The Spread

Missouri:

  • The Tigers are 1-4 ATS in their last 5 games
  • The total has gone over in 8 of Mizzou’s last 11 games
  • The OVER has been the play in 4 of Missouri’s last 5 road games

Florida:

  • The Gators have been UNDER the number in their last 5 games
  • The total has also gone UNDER in 5 of Florida’s last 6 home games
  • UF is 6-2 SU in their last 8 games

Last Time Out:

Missouri’s game against Texas A&M was postponed last Saturday due to COVID-19 issues within the Aggies program. The Tigers dropped a 60-53 loss to Ole Miss last Wednesday as the 53 points was a season low as they shot 35 percent, which was the second lowest offensive output of the season.

Florida took out Kentucky, 71-67, in a revenge game for the 18-point loss at home in January. Tre Mann continued his stellar play as he led the Gators with 21 points, scoring 14 in the second half. Tyree Appleby nailed a triple with 3:30 to play to put Florida ahead to stay at 65-63.

Teams Spread Money Line Total Points
Missouri +3½ (-102) +150 O 142½ (-117)
Florida -3½ (-118) -170 U 142½ (-103)

Advantage, Missouri:

Missouri Tigers LogoMissouri needs to be able to call on it’s defense like earlier in the year. In the last five games, the Tigers’ opponents have shot 46.5 percent from the floor. Leading scorer Xavier Pinson (14.0 ppg, 2.8 rpg) is going to be an important part of this game with his matchup with Tre Mann. Pinson has struggled on the offensive end as well as he was 1-of-9 from the field against Ole Miss and has scored in single digits in three of the last six games.

Key Tigers Stat:

Kobe Brown (7.9 ppg, 6.0 rpg) has played well along side Jeremiah Tilmon (12.9 ppg, 7.7 rpg) inside and has gotten more consistent as the season has unfolded. Brown has averaged 15 points per game and six boards in his last three while making 17-of-32 field goals.

X-Factor:

Dru Smith checks in as a potential defender on Mann as well, but then keeping in contact with three-point shooter Noah Locke is an issue for any defense. Coach Cuonzo Martin needs Smith on the offensive end of the floor as well as he is Mizzou’s leading three-point shooter at 38.6 percent and he joins Pinson in getting in the paint and getting to the line where he has made 83.1 percent of his free throws.

Advantage, Florida:

Florida Gators LogoThe Gators can beat you in several ways on offense with an efficient three-point game which is led by Noah Locke (45 makes, 40.2%) or by finding Colin Castleton inside as he has shot 60.1 percent from the field and made 75.3 percent of his free throws. In any event, Tre Mann is the heart of the team and his playmaking skills and growth inside of the program have been a major reason why Florida is in position to lock down a Top 4 seed and go into the SEC Tournament on a roll.

Key Gators Stat:

Florida is thriving in points off turnovers as they average 17.8 per game and they force 21.1 turnovers per 100 possessions. Those number also attribute to a fast break that has averaged 12 points per game on average over the last three contests.

X-Factor:

The ability of either Scottie Lewis or Anthony Duruji to step up and consistently score in double figures down the stretch and into March would be an added advantage for Coach Mike White. Both have loads of potential to put themselves in those positions. Lewis had a 16-point effort in the win over Auburn, but it is his only double figures game in his last six. Duruji averages 21.4 minutes per game and is a consistent contributor on the boards. The key for him is finding dribble lanes and getting into the paint where he can use his athleticism.

Winner: Florida (-3½) 75, Missouri 67

The Bets
Florida (-3½)
-118
Florida
-170
OVER 142.5
-117
Sub Categories:
Kenneth Cross / Author

Kenneth Cross is a new entry to The Sports Geek staff as he has 25 years of experience in print, broadcast, and internet sports journalism. Cross is a lover of all sports, but college basketball is his passion. He estimates that he has seen around 1,500 college basketball games - live and in-person - and hopes that grows this season. If you listen to Radio, you have likely heard him on Sundays covering the Carolina Panthers for some 20 years. Now in Tampa Bay, he works as a national radio correspondent.