Missouri is a perfect 10-0 on the season, and is the lone team in the SEC still sporting an unblemished record. The Tigers were last in action on Sunday, Dec. 15 and took out visiting Western Michigan, 66-60. That game marked the finale of a three-game homestand, and Mizzou is 7-0 in Columbia this season — this coming after a season in which it went 17-0 at home and owns an incredible 40-1 home mark since 2011-12. Non-conference bouts with NC State and Long Beach State will take place over the next couple of weeks, and the Tigers will open SEC play at home versus Georgia on Jan. 8.
Illinois opened the season with seven straight wins, but a 67-64 setback at Georgia Tech in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge on Dec. 3 started the team on a trend that has seen it split its last four decisions. The most recent outing for the Illini took place last Saturday in Portland against nationally-ranked Oregon, and it was the Ducks who prevailed in a 71-64 final. Following this contest, Illinois will be idle until next Saturday when it takes on Illinois- Chicago in the Windy City, and then returns home three days later for its Big Ten opener versus Indiana.
Illinois owns a 27-16 lead in the all-time series with Missouri, which includes a 20-12 mark in St. Louis. This matchup is widely considered to be one of the top non-conference rivalries in college basketball, and Mizzou has won the last four meetings, the most recent of which being an 82-73 decision in St. Louis almost a year ago to the day (Dec. 22, 2012).