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Missouri Tigers Look To Pick Up Pace Vs. Slow Oklahoma Sooners

If you're not reading SB Nation's Rock M Nation, then you're missing out on a ridiculous amount of useful information on the Missouri Tigers. The latest example comes from Bill Connelly's break down of the Oklahoma Sooners, who will be visiting Mizzou Arena on Saturday afternoon at 12:30 p.m. (CT).

Connelly predicts Saturday's game could go either way -- close and worrisome for the Tigers or a complete blowout. Don't worry, he explains why:

Oklahoma plays slooooooooow.  They play exactly the kind of game that can give Mizzou fits, particularly away from home.  Some of Mizzou's worst upset losses or near-upsets in recent seasons -- Western Illinois this season, Oral Roberts and Oklahoma last season -- came against teams comfortable with slowing the tempo, then slowing it some more.  Oklahoma ranks 222nd in Pomeroy's Adj. Tempo measure, and all five starters average at least 27 minutes per game.  If Mizzou can't make some shots, settle into their press, and force Oklahoma out of their intended game, then this could be a slog.  But if Mizzou is able to pin their ears back and turn this into a track meet, it could get out of hand quickly.    

We should find out fairly quickly how this game is going to go. 

Missouri has plenty of reasons they should and need to win this game. They're huge favorites -- 15 points -- and they're facing one of the weakest Big 12 teams (though the Sooners have an identical 4-5 conference record). Missouri has lost three of their last four games and, while they're not a bubble team, they need to finish the conference season strong to wrap up a solid seed in the NCAA tournament. 

Before they host Kansas in the regular season finale, Missouri should (arguably) be on a six-game winning streak that starts on Saturday against Oklahoma.