Date: Dec. 21, 2013
Tip-Off: 4:30 p.m. CT
Arena: Scottrade Center (22,153)
TV: ESPN2 (Dave O’Brien and Jimmy Dykes)
Radio: Tiger Radio Network (Tom Ackerman and Gary Link)
Rankings: Missouri - 23 / 25 - Associated Press / USA Today Coaches’ Poll
Illinois - NR / NR
Series: 44th meeting overall, 33rd In Bud Light Braggin’ Rights History; Illinois leads 27-16 all-time
Missouri: Frank Haith (Elon ‘88); 187-117 overall (9th season); 58-16 at Mizzou (3rd season)
Illinois: John Groce (Taylor ‘94) 117-71 overall (6th season overall); 2nd season at Illinois, 32-15
> Mizzou Basketball returns to St. Louis for the annual Bud Light Braggin’ Rights series on Saturday as the Tigers (10-0) and Illinois Fighting Illini (9-2) meet in what has been called the country’s top annual non-conference rivalry ... This game is Missouri’s longest active regular-season rivalry ... Despite being in separate conferences, this game has been played in the regular season each year since 1983.
> Missouri moved into the Top 25 last week and will enter the game nationally-ranked for the fourth consecutive year ... At least one of the two clubs have been nationally in 26 of the 33 seasons the series has been played in St. Louis.
> Missouri is looking to continue its neutral-court success under Head Coach Frank Haith ... The Tigers are 14-4 in neutral-site games over the last three seasons, including a 3-0 mark this year ... Mizzou has been even better in neutral-site games within the state of Missouri ... MU has won eight consecutive games under Haith at neutral sites in the Show-Me State (2-0 in St. Louis, 6-0 in Kansas City).
> Missouri is looking for its fifth consecutive win in the series ... The Tigers have never won five straight in the series vs. Illinois and the run of four consecutive MU wins came after Illinois reeled off nine straight “W’s” from 2000-08 ... Mizzou also won four consecutive from 1991-94 and since that 1991 game the series is tied, 11-11, over the last 22 meetings.
> Head Coach Frank Haith is 2-0 in Braggin’ Rights contests, including an 82-73 win last season, but while Haith is making his third appearance coaching in this game, just three Tigers, Jabari Brown, Earnest Ross and Tony Criswell, have ever played in the Braggin’ Rights Game and each of those three appeared in 2012 ... Mizzou enters the game Saturday with a grand total of 86 career minutes played in the Braggin’ Rights Game.
> Despite Missouri’s fast start, the Tigers have just one starter returning from last season’s 23-11 team (Brown) and no players are back that saw action on that 30-5 club during the 2011-12 campaign ... In fact, Missouri’s top scorer (Clarkson), rebounder (Williams III) and assist man (Clarkson) have all played less than one full season for the Tigers ... Mizzou is the lone current unbeaten team with just one starter returning from the previous season and Missouri (1) and Kansas (0) are the only clubs in college basketball currently ranked with one or fewer starters back from last season.
> Mizzou plays its next two games away from home, but the Tigers do own a 25-game homecourt winning streak at Mizzou Arena dating back to the final home game of the 2011-12 campaign ... That winning streak ranks No. 1 nationally ... The 25 consecutive home wins by the Tigers is the fourth-longest streak in school history and is the longest since the team won 32 consecutive home games from 2007-2010 ... Duke’s 23-game home court streak ranks No. 2 nationally.
> Mizzou has been very good at home under Head Coach Frank Haith’s teams ... The Tigers are 40-1 at Mizzou Arena since 2011-12 and were a perfect 17-0 at home last season ... In addition, Missouri is an outstanding 15-1 in the month of December under Haith, with the lone loss coming last season at UCLA.
Mizzou Basketball Cliffs...
> Mizzou Basketball continues its pre-holiday tradition by facing Illinois in the 33rd annual Bud Light Braggin’ Rights Game at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis.
> Missouri is looking for the ninth 11-0 start to a season in program history ... The Tigers’ most recent 11-0 start came in 2011-12 when the team opened 14-0 ... Mizzou is the lone remaining unbeaten in the SEC.
> Mizzou is playing its fourth neutral site game of the season and second in the state of Missouri ... The Tigers topped Hawaii, 92-80, at Sprint Center in Kansas City on Nov. 16 and earned two wins over Northwestern and Nevada in Las Vegas at the Orleans Arena.
> Missouri is continuing its run of ESPN-televised games ... Mizzou’s last five games have been carried by an ESPN platform and the Tigers are 5-0 in such games.
> Missouri jumped back into the Top 25 following back-to-back wins against West Virginia and No. 17 UCLA ... The Tigers have been ranked each season under Frank Haith and are 10-0 for the second time under his watch (2011-12).
> Missouri has won four consecutive meetings in the series, the longest run of wins for the Tigers since 1991-94.
> Over the last four seasons these clubs have entered the game with impressive records ... The two clubs are a combined 19-2 this season and over the last four years the clubs have been a combined 72-7 (.920) entering the contest.
> Mizzou is facing its third team from Illinois this year ... The Tigers also topped Southern Illinois (72-59) and Northwestern (78-67).
> Mizzou Assistant Coach Mark Phelps coached Illinois’ leading scorer, Rayvonte Rice, for two seasons at Drake ... As the Head Coach at Drake, Phelps recruited Rice from Champaign’s Centennial High School and he scored 983 points in two seasons with the Bulldogs.
> Head Coach Frank Haith will coach his 305th career game overall and is a spectacular 58-16 in three seasons at Missouri ... Haith was the fastest coach in school history to 50 wins and has just one starter back for the second consecutive campaign.
> Missouri has done a good job defensively over its last three games ... The Tigers faced two of the nation’s top scoring teams in West Virginia (85.1 ppg) and UCLA (90.6 ppg), but held the two clubs a combined 35 points below their scoring norms ... Mizzou also held Western Michigan 10.6 points below its season scoring average.
> Mizzou has been very good at home under Head Coach Frank Haith’s teams ... The Tigers are 40-1 at Mizzou Arena since 2011-12 and were a perfect 17-0 at home last season.
> Mizzou boasts a 144-21 (.880) record at home since the building opened in 2004-05 ... The Tigers are also 91-4 at home since 2008-09, amounting to an incredible .960 winning percentage.
> Non-conference opponents have not enjoyed their stops in Columbia, Mo., over the last few seasons and the Tigers have raced to an incredible 80 consecutive wins at home vs. non-league opposition since the end of the 2005-06 campaign ... Missouri’s last non-conference loss at home came vs. Sam Houston State in the 2005 Preseason NIT, but since then, Missouri has gone nearly eight full seasons without a loss.
> Missouri is being led in scoring by the dynamic junior tandem of Jordan Clarkson (19.4 ppg) and Jabari Brown (19.0) ... The duo is combining for 38.4 points per game, tops in the Southeastern Conference.
> The pair is one of six teammate tandems in college basketball averaging 19.0+ points per game.
> Jordan Clarkson recorded the first 30-point game of the SEC season on Nov. 12 and logged the 26th 30-point game during Missouri’s SEC / Big 12 eras ... Clarkson needed just 18 shots to reach 31 points (12-of-18 FGs), and is one of just two Tigers during the two eras to have 30+ points, 5+ assists and zero turnovers ... Clarence Gilbert had a ridiculous 43 points, nine assists and zero turnovers vs. Iowa State in a four overtime win on Jan. 13, 2001.
> Clarkson had his run of five consecutive 20-point games snapped on Sunday vs. Western Michigan ... Still, the junior has topped 20 points six times in 10 games this season.
> Head Coach Frank Haith enters his third season at Missouri and will look to lead the Tigers to their third consecutive 20-win campaign ... Only Norm Stewart, Quin Snyder and Mike Anderson have enjoyed three 20-win seasons at Mizzou ... Stewart of course led the way with 17 20-win campaigns ... Snyder and Anderson each had three.
> Missouri has won at historic levels over the last five seasons ... In fact the Tigers have won 23+ games each of the last five seasons.
> The five consecutive 20-win seasons is a school record and Missouri’s five consecutive trips to the NCAA Tournament is the longest active streak in the Southeastern Conference.
> Mizzou Arena has been the site of two undefeated home seasons in its history ... Missouri was 18-0 in 2008-09 and was 17-0 at home last season ... Hearnes Center, the former home of Missouri Basketball, was the site of five undefeated home campaigns (1974-75, 1980-81, 1988-89, 1989-90 and 1993-94).
> Since 2006-07 (71-0) the club’s margin of victory has been 26.0 points in those non-league home tilts.
> Mizzou will have two transfers sitting out this season ... Zach Price transferred from Louisville, where the 6-foot-10 forward was a member of the Cardinals’ NCAA National Championship team ... Deuce Bello transferred from Baylor ... Both will be classified as redshirt juniors next season.
> Mizzou will be on national television a school-record 20 times this season ... That number has grown each of Mizzou’s two years in the SEC ... The Tigers were on national TV 18 times last season, which was also a school record.
> Mizzou was picked fifth in the Southeastern Conference’s preseason media poll ... Kentucky was the projected league champion.