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No. 10 Missouri well-tested heading into SEC opener against Alabama

  • 239163ca9f34c500250f6a70670088d5.jpg

    Missouri's Laurence Bowers, right, wrestles a rebound away from Bucknell's Cameron Ayers, left, and Joe Willman, center, during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game on Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013, in Columbia, Mo. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson)The Associated Press

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    Missouri's Keion Bell, left, pumps his fist in front of Bucknell's Mike Muscala, right, at the end of Missouri's 66-64 victory in an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013, in Columbia, Mo. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson)The Associated Press

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    Missouri's Phil Pressey celebrates with teammates after he scored a three-pointer during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game against Bucknell Saturday, Jan. 5, 2013, in Columbia, Mo. Missouri won the game 66-64. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson)The Associated Press

Missouri is so well-tested that its first-ever SEC game shouldn't cause any anxiety.

A 2-point decision over Bucknell, an overtime loss at UCLA and a neutral-site victory over Illinois have all helped the 10th-ranked Tigers (11-2) prepare for Tuesday night's game against Alabama (8-5).

They trailed at halftime and got outrebounded for the first time all season against Bucknell on Saturday before winning their 73rd consecutive nonconference home game, a feat stretching to the 2005-06 opener. Coach Frank Haith is counting on such tests to toughen the roster now that the competition figures to step up on a consistent basis, even if the opening matchup appears a bit lopsided.

Alabama had lost five of six overall before beating Oakland 65-45 Saturday to snap a three-game home losing streak.