No. 25 Mizzou Basketball hits the road to take on N.C. State Saturday

From the University of Missouri

o. 25 Mizzou Tigers at North Carolina State Wolfpack

Date: Dec. 28, 2013

Tip-Off: 7 p.m. CT

Arena: PNC Arena (19,557)

TV: ESPN2 (Fran Fraschilla and Jimmy Dykes)

Radio: Tiger Radio Network (Mike Kelly and Gary Link)

Rankings: Missouri - 25 / 25 - Associated Press / USA Today Coaches' Poll

N.C. State - NR / NR

Series: 4th meeting; N.C. State leads 2-1 all-time; last 87-68 N.C. State on Dec. 29, 1995 in Honolulu


Missouri: Frank Haith (Elon '88); 187-118 overall (9th season); 58-17 at Mizzou (3rd season)

N.C. State: Mark Gottfried (Alabama '87) 335-181 overall (17th season); 3rd season at N.C. State, 57-26

For Openers...

> Mizzou Basketball (10-1) heads east as the Tigers travel to Raleigh, N.C., for a Saturday night contest against North Carolina State (9-2) at PNC Arena.

> It's the first meeting between the two programs since a game at the Rainbow Classic on Dec. 28, 1995 ... The Wolfpack won that game, 87-68, and N.C. State owns a 2-1 series lead between the two programs.

> Missouri is playing a rare game against an ACC opponent ... Mizzou beat Clemson, 86-78, in the 2010 NCAA Tournament in Buffalo, N.Y., and hasn't faced a member of the ACC in the regular season since an 84-70 win over Maryland on Nov. 20, 2007, at the CBE Classic in Kansas City's Sprint Center ... Mizzou's last home and home series with an ACC member came against Virginia in 2000-01 and 2001-02 ... The Tigers also faced Syracuse when the Orange were members of the BIG EAST and played Notre Dame at the 2011 CBE Classic when the Fighting Irish were also in the BIG EAST.

> Earnest Ross will return close to his high school home this weekend ... Ross played at Panther Creek High School in Cary, N.C., and averaged 21 points and six rebounds en route to all-state honors as a senior ... Ross actually played North Carolina State as a freshman at Auburn and scored two points and grabbed six boards in 20 minutes in a start at the Glenn Wilkes Classic in Daytona Beach, Fla.

> Both Missouri and N.C. State have had coaching pioneers with regards to using basketball to help raise awareness and funding for cancer research ... Tiger fans know that Norm Stewart was one of the founders of Coaches vs. Cancer and former N.C. State head coach, Jim Valvano, and ESPN formed the Jimmy V foundation 20 years ago.

> Missouri has used its 10-1 start to earned a Top 25 billing by both the Associated Press and USA Today/Coaches polls ... The Tigers have been ranked each season under Haith despite having just one starter back each of the last two years.

> As mentioned, the Tigers have just one starter returning from last season's 23-11 team (Jabari Brown) and no players are back that saw action on that 30-5 club during the 2011-12 campaign ... In fact, Missouri's top scorer (Clarkson), rebounder (Williams III) and assist man (Clarkson) have all played less than one full season for the Tigers ... Missouri (1) and Kansas (0) are the only clubs in college basketball currently ranked with one or fewer starters back from last season.

> Missouri has faced some big-time scorers this season, but none have been as explosive as N.C. State's T.J. Warren ... The sophomore leads the ACC (23.9 ppg) in points per game and Saturday's meeting marks Mizzou's sixth game vs. one of college basketball's Top 65 scorers ... No. 6 T.J. Warren (N.C. State - 23.9), No. 10 Deonte Burton (Nevada - 22.8), No. 29 Desmar Jackson (Southern Illinois - 20.3), No. 44 David Brown (Western Michigan - 19.7), No. 61 Eron Harris (West Virginia - 19.0) and No. 65 Jordan Adams (UCLA - 18.9) will have all faced the Tigers, but only Adams reached his scoring average ... Adams scored 22 points on 6-of-18 shooting vs. Mizzou in a Dec. 7 loss ... The remaining four players finished below their scoring norms against the Mizzou (Burton 20, Brown 18, Jackson 17 and Harris 8) ... Combined those five players shot 36 percent against Missouri and only Jackson (7-of-14) finished at 50 percent from the floor.

Mizzou Basketball Cliffs...

> Mizzou Basketball hits the road for its first true road game of the 2013-14 campaign as the Tigers make their first trip to Raleigh, N.C., since a 66-53 loss on Jan. 30, 1984 ... Malcolm Thomas led Mizzou with 17 points and Bill Roundtree added 12 in the contest.

> The Tigers also faced the Wolfpack the season prior in Columbia, earning a 49-42 win on Jan. 9, 1983 ... Jon Sundvold scored 17 in that win against the eventual national champions and legendary head coach Jim Valvano.

> Mizzou is looking to bounce back from a 65-64 loss in St. Louis to Illinois in the annual Bud Light Braggin' Rights Game on Dec. 21 ... Always an entertaining contest, the Fighting Illini hit two free throws with 4.6 seconds left to earn the win.

> Missouri got an incredible effort from Jordan Clarkson in the narrow defeat ... The SEC's leading scorer, Clarkson scored 25 points, dished a career high eight assists and had six boards in 35 minutes.

> Jabari Brown finished with 10 points, including a go-ahead trey with 15 seconds left, and Earnest Ross added 13 points and a game-high eight rebounds.

> Missouri is continuing its run of ESPN-televised games ... Mizzou's last six games have been carried by an ESPN platform and the Tigers are 5-1 in such games.

> Missouri remained in the Top 25 despite the narrow loss ... The Tigers are ranked No. 25 in both polls and are ranked for the third consecutive season under Frank Haith.

> Missouri is looking for its first non-conference road win since a 75-68 win at Old Dominion on Dec. 30, 2011 ... The Tigers played one non-league home game last year, falling 97-94 in overtime at UCLA.

> Head Coach Frank Haith will coach his 306th career game overall and is a spectacular 58-17 in three seasons at Missouri ... Haith was the fastest coach in school history to 50 wins and has just one starter back for the second consecutive campaign.

> Missouri has done a good job defensively over its last four games ... The Tigers faced two of the nation's top scoring teams, West Virginia (85.1 ppg) and UCLA (90.6 ppg), but held the two clubs a combined 35 points below their scoring norms ... Mizzou also held Western Michigan 10.6 points below its season scoring average and limited Illinois 6.5 points below its norm.

> Missouri is being led in scoring by the dynamic junior tandem of Jordan Clarkson (19.9 ppg) and Jabari Brown (18.2) ... The duo is combining for 38.1 points per game, second in the Southeastern Conference ... Clarkson's 19.9 points per game is tops in the SEC.

> The pair is one of four teammate tandems in high-major college basketball averaging 18.0+ points per game.

> When the Tigers return home on Jan. 4, they will play in the friendly confines of Mizzou Arena where the club is 40-1 since 2011-12 and went a perfect 17-0 at home last season.

> Mizzou boasts a 144-21 (.880) record at home since the building opened in 2004-05 ... The Tigers are also 91-4 at home since 2008-09, amounting to an incredible .960 winning percentage.

> Non-conference opponents have not enjoyed their stops in Columbia, Mo., over the last few seasons and the Tigers have raced to an incredible 80 consecutive wins at home vs. non-league opposition since the end of the 2005-06 campaign ... Missouri's last non-conference loss at home came vs. Sam Houston State in the 2005 Preseason NIT, but since then, Missouri has gone nearly eight full seasons without a loss.

> Jordan Clarkson recorded the first 30-point game of the SEC season on Nov. 12 and logged the 26th 30-point game during Missouri's SEC / Big 12 eras ... Clarkson needed just 18 shots to reach 31 points (12-of-18 FGs), and is one of just two Tigers during the two eras to have 30+ points, 5+ assists and zero turnovers ... Clarence Gilbert had a ridiculous 43 points, nine assists and zero turnovers vs. Iowa State in a four overtime win on Jan. 13, 2001.

> Clarkson has topped 20 points in six of his last seven games heading into the weekend ... The junior has topped 20 points seven times in 11 games this season.

> Head Coach Frank Haith enters his third season at Missouri and will look to lead the Tigers to their third consecutive 20-win campaign ... Only Norm Stewart, Quin Snyder and Mike Anderson have enjoyed three 20-win seasons at Mizzou ... Stewart of course led the way with 17 20-win campaigns ... Snyder and Anderson each had three.

> Missouri has won at historic levels over the last five seasons ... In fact the Tigers have won 23+ games each of the last five seasons.

> The five consecutive 20-win seasons is a school record and Missouri's five consecutive trips to the NCAA Tournament is the longest active streak in the Southeastern Conference.

> Mizzou Arena has been the site of two undefeated home seasons in its history ... Missouri was 18-0 in 2008-09 and was 17-0 at home last season ... Hearnes Center, the former home of Missouri Basketball, was the site of five undefeated home campaigns (1974-75, 1980-81, 1988-89, 1989-90 and 1993-94).

> Since 2006-07 (71-0) the club's margin of victory has been 26.0 points in those non-league home tilts.

> Mizzou will have two transfers sitting out this season ... Zach Price transferred from Louisville, where the 6-foot-10 forward was a member of the Cardinals' NCAA National Championship team ... Deuce Bello transferred from Baylor ... Both will be classified as redshirt juniors next season.

> Mizzou will be on national television a school-record  20 times this season ... That number has grown each of Mizzou's two years in the SEC ... The Tigers were on national TV 18 times last season, which was also a school record.