GAMEDAY THREAD: UK vs. Mizzou

Fresh off its disappointing setback on an icy night at LSU, Kentucky faces another tough challenge Saturday with a trip to Missouri. We've got everything you need to know about today's matchup in this AllWildcats feature.

BASKETBALL FORUM: DISCUSS THE CATS VS. TIGERS

Fresh off its disappointing setback on an icy night at LSU, Kentucky faces another tough challenge Saturday with a trip to Missouri.

The Tigers (16-4, 4-3 SEC) will be looking to make a statement against the No. 11 Wildcats (15-5, 5-2) with the help of one of the best homecourt advantages in college basketball. Missouri is 43-2 at home since Frank Haith arrived prior to the 2010-11 season.

UK will be making its first trip to Columbia in program history, and Mizzou Arena will be energized in search of the first win over the Wildcats in six all-time matchups. Tipoff is slated for 1 p.m. ET on CBS.

Mizzou's record could be even better than it appears. The Tigers' four losses this season have come by a combined 16 points: Illinois (1), Vanderbilt (3), Georgia (6) and in overtime to LSU (6).

John Calipari said Friday that Missouri features perhaps the best backcourt that UK will face this season. Junior Jabari Brown is coming off a red-hot January, averaging 22.3 points on 56 percent shooting from the floor. The SEC's scoring has topped the 20-point mark in five straight games while shooting 69 percent (20 of 29) from deep.

Backcourt mate Jordan Clarkson (18.5 ppg) makes it difficult for opponents to focus their defensive efforts on either player. Kentucky will need a strong defensive effort from its guards, twins Andrew and Aaron Harrison and swingman James Young.

A potential mismatch that UK can exploit, however, is the Missouri frontcourt. The Cats have a big edge on paper with Julius Randle (16.1 ppg, 10.2 rpg), Willie Cauley-Stein (7.8 ppg, 6.8 rpg, 3.2 bpg), Alex Poythress (6.9 ppg, 5.6 rpg) and the emerging Dakari Johnson (4.6 ppg, 3.3 rpg) who is coming off a career-high 15 points against LSU.

Projected Starting Line-ups:

Kentucky Wildcats (15-5, 5-2 SEC)
Pos. No. Name HT WT YR P/G R/G A/G S*B/G
F 15 Willie Cauley-Stein 7'0" 244 So. 7.8 6.8 0.9 3.2*
F 30 Julius Randle 6'9" 250 Fr. 16.1 10.2 1.7 0.8*
G 1 James Young 6'6" 215 Fr. 14.7 4.5 2.0 0.9
G 2 Aaron Harrison 6'6" 218 Fr. 13.8 3.1 2.1 1.1
G 5 Andrew Harrison 6'6" 215 Fr. 11.0 3.0 3.5 0.4

Missouri Tigers (16-4, 4-3 SEC)
Pos. No. Name HT WT YR P/G R/G A/G S/G

F 3 Johnathan Williams, III 6'9" 223 Fr. 6.8 7.6 0.8 1.5*
F 44 Ryan Rosburg 6'10" 252 So. 4.7 4.5 0.5 0.7*
G 5 Jordan Clarkson 6'5" 193 Jr. 18.5 4.0 3.5 1.4
G 32 Jabari Brown 6'5" 214 Jr. 22.3 4.8 1.6 0.7
G 33 Earnest Ross 6'5" 228 Sr. 14.5 6.7 1.5 1.5

Join us for discussion of today's game on our basketball forum, linked below:

BASKETBALL FORUM: DISCUSS THE CATS VS. TIGERS

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