Missouri vs Georgia preview: Bulldogs host Tigers in key SEC matchup

Jeff Blake-USA TODAY Sports

Georgia looks to inch its way closer to a Top 4 seed in the upcoming SEC Tournament when they host Missouri Tuesday night at Stegeman Coliseum.

There will be a lot on the line Tuesday night when Georgia hosts Missouri as both teams are still jostling for the best possible finish to the SEC season.

Florida and Kentucky are the cream of the crop in the conference but the Bulldogs have emerged as the third place team and have a two game lead over seven different teams heading into the final two weeks of the season. At 15-11 overall and 9-5 in the conference, Georgia is still a bit away from any discussion about the NCAA Tournament however, there is still ground to be made up and a win over the Tigers on Tuesday night would be a great place to start.

Missouri comes in at 19-8 but at just 7-7 in the conference. They currently have the best RPI of any conference team besides Florida or Kentucky but need wins in the worst way. They have gone 3-4 over their last seven games including damaging losses to Ole Miss and Alabama.

The Bulldogs have been very good at home where they are 12-2 this season. Despite that home success, their turnaround began with a 70-64 road win at Missouri in overtime to open the conference season. That helped propel them to a 4-1 start within the conference.

Charles Mann led the way for the Bulldogs during the first meeting with 18 while Nemanja Djurisic added 16 off the bench. Kenny Gaines finished with 11 against the Tigers but set a career-high on Saturday with 27 points including five made three-pointers in a win over South Carolina. Gaines is averaging 12.7 points per game on the season but has scored at least 20 in two of the last three and is emerging into more of a scoring threat.

Jabari Brown led the Tigers with 19 in the first meeting and he poured in 23 more in Saturday's loss at Alabama. Brown is among the conference leaders in scoring averaging 20.2 per game.

Finishing in the Top 4 of the regular season gives teams a double-bye into the SEC Tournament and in many ways ensures a favorable matchup in their opening game. The Bulldogs have four games remaining counting Tuesday night and going 2-2 would all but guarantee at least a finish in the Top 4.

Game Info

Game Date/Time: Tuesday, February 25, 9:00 p.m.

Location: Stegeman Coliseum, Athens, Georgia

TV: ESPNU

Radio: Bulldog Radio Network

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