Mizzou basketball: Look at this conference schedule

COLUMBIA, MO - DECEMBER 05: Jeremiah Tilmon
COLUMBIA, MO - DECEMBER 05: Jeremiah Tilmon /

The Mizzou basketball team has a tough beginning, but a slate of winnable games to finish up the year.

Mizzou basketball released the rest of its 2019-2020 schedule this week.

The rest of the games we were waiting on were conference contests, as the non-conference games were released last month.

Mizzou’s conference schedule starts out with three tough contests, including an SEC opener on the road against Kentucky.

Remember, the Tigers get a break from conference games this year by playing in the SEC-Big 12 Challenge, which takes place Jan. 25. Mizzou basketball is playing West Virginia.

Here is a look at the top SEC games on this year’s schedule:

Mizzou at Kentucky – 1 p.m, Saturday, Jan. 4 — Mizzou goest to Lexington to take on the Wildcats. Every year, the Wildcats lose a bunch of players, and every year, Kentucky comes back with more. After its non-conference slate, expect Mizzou to travel to Kentucky to take on a top-5 opponent.

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Tennessee at Mizzou – 6 p.m, Tuesday, Jan. 7 — Tennessee lost almost three NBA players from last year’s team, but the Volunteers will regroup and have a near top-25 team. Both Mizzou and Tennessee could be double-digit win teams around this time, so expect a competitive early-SEC matchup here.

Florida at Mizzou – 7:30 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 11 — Florida is expected to have a top-10 team this season. Mizzou will be coming off two tough games against NCAA Tournament teams. This is a tough three-game stretch for the Tigers, but if they can come away with a win or two, it will set them up perfectly down the line.

Mizzou at LSU – 8 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 11 — Let’s skip ahead a little. Last year, Mizzou should have beaten LSU. The Tigers made plenty of mistakes down the stretch and coughed up a double-digit lead. That cost them a win against a top team. Mizzou could grab an upset on the road in Baton Rouge.

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Mizzou at Arkansas – Noon, Saturday, Feb. 22 — This is a rivalry game against their own coach, and hopefully the Tigers grab the win at home against Arkansas earlier in the year. What makes this one more special is that it sets Mizzou up for the final five games, which are winnable games. If Mizzou can squeak by the Razorbacks, they could end the season on a huge run heading into the conference tournament.

Looking at the schedule as a whole, Mizzou basketball looks like it will start out with some tough games, but the middle will give them an opportunity to build a quality resume for the tournament committee. Expect six to eight teams from the SEC to make it in this year, and if Mizzou can win more than half of its conference games, that will go a long way.

After the first three games, Mizzou has to play on the road against Mississippi State and Alabama, so even if the Tigers start the year 1-4 in conference, there’s a chance to gain some big wins in an always-improving SEC conference after that.