Octagon of Doom: MU-KState Bball Preview (links), K-State-Mike Dixon Twitter War

Who: No. 6 Missouri Tigers (14-0, 1-0) at No. 23 K-State Wildcats (11-2, 0-1)
When: 12:30 PM CT
Where: Bramlage Coliseum (12,528), Manhattan

TV: Big 12 Network (Dave Armstrong, Jon Sundvold)
Radio: Tiger Network (Mike Kelly, Linker Link)

Sixth-ranked Mizzou takes their undefeated show on the road to Kansas State – and the Octagon of Doom. Bramlage Coliseum has been a true place of doom for Mizzou, a place they haven’t won at since 2004, behind Arthur Johnson and Rickey Paulding. Speaking of Paulding, remember this dunk?

Wow.

Before we break down the game, Mizzou and K-State fans are engaged in a Twitter War, started by Mike Dixon.

The sophomore point guard tweeted, “K-STATE FANS THAT WON’T STOP CALLING MY PHONE. GIVE THEM A RING A DING” and continued the tweet with four phone numbers. He later tweeted three other numbers.

According to a phone directory on the Kansas State university website, two of those numbers appeared to belong to the recruiting chair and vice president of the Delta Upsilon fraternity at Kansas State. Three of the other five numbers were “out of service.”

The infamous Antlers, an MU student fan group, responded, “We’ll get it done.”

The Antlers are known for badgering players and prank calling coaches of Missouri’s opponents. The group’s main goal is to create the greatest home court advantage by trying to distract players on the opposing team.

The “beef” dates back to last year, where the fans at Bramlegde were all over Mike Dixon and the point guard received a technical for “taunting” the crowd after “talking” to some K-State students following a made bucket.

I wonder if Dixon will be motivated today? I wonder if he will be hearing it from the EMAW failthful?

***

Missouri has more talent and is clearly the better team. None of this, though, seems to matter when the Tigers head to Manhattan.

If Missouri plays its best game, they will win. When the Tigers are at their best, I think they are unbeatable. If they play well, they should win. If K-State plays the Tigers into an average game, its up for grabs. If the Tigers play poorly, it will be the Tigers first loss of the year. One advantage for the Tigers if they shoot poorly – which is under 50% for them – like they did against Illinois and Old Dominion, is the Cats do not shoot the ball well.

Keys to the game: Who will get hot? If Kim English gets hot, the Tigers win. Never fails. If he and Denmon are both hitting, its OVER. Now, what if neither are hitting? Missouri is the better shooting team, obviously at the national leader in that area, but if K-State owns the glass and their are a lot of whistles blown, advantage Cats. Don’t be surprised to see two big men – Ricardo Ratliffe and Steve Moore – on the floor together today. Will the Tigers four-guard lineup be able to handle the physical nature of a Frank Martin team? The one wild card here is K-State will be hungry following its 67-49 loss at KU Wednesday. How will they respond. K-State will have a 0-3 conference record staring them in the face with a loss today.

Prediction: Never bet against a streak? Well I am going to. The Tigers win for the first time since 2004 in Manhattan, 79-71.

***

Fox Sports MW: Tigers are ready to take their show on the road

MUtigers.com: No. 7/6 Tigers Face Tough Road Test at K-State
Hank’s Sports Blog: Know your enemy: No. 22 Kansas State Wildcats

PowerMizzou: Attacking the Glass

KC Star: Sundvold sees comparisons between this MU team and his great teams

KC Star: Mizzou may need all hands on deck against K-State

KC Star: K-State in midst of difficult schedule to start Big 12

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