Missouri set to open Big 12 play

Host Oklahoma tonight

One of the great unknowns about the Missouri basketball team through the first 11 games was how well it would react when challenged with a close game.

Close victories against Old Dominion and Illinois in the last two weeks alleviated some of those fears, just in time for conference season.

Missouri (13-0) ran through its non-conference season unbeaten for the first time since the 1981-82 season. The Tigers begin their final season in the Big 12 tonight at home against Oklahoma (7 p.m., Fox Sports Midwest Plus-TV).

The seventh-ranked Tigers, who are one of four remaining unbeaten teams in Division I, went unchallenged in their first 11 games, winning by an average margin of 27 points per game. The last two games, a 78-74 win against Illinois and a 75-68 victory at Old Dominion, showed Missouri can win games when the game is on the line in the final minutes. The Tigers trailed in the last five minutes of both games.

Oklahoma enters today’s game with a 10-2 mark.

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