Missouri men’s basketball only has four regular-season games left.


It’s been almost four months since the Tigers started their season with a dominating win over Incarnate Word. And there’s been plenty of twists and turns since.


Now, as the last two guaranteed weeks of Missouri’s season begins, the final push in the conference standings also gets underway.


The Tigers last four Southeastern Conference games are all against teams that are seventh or worse in the standings.


Those quartet of showdowns start with MU traveling to Nashville to face last-place Vanderbilt. The Commodores are 1-13 in SEC play, with their lone win coming over LSU to break a two-year winless streak in the conference.


Missouri is 13-14 overall and 5-9 in conference action after a 78-68 loss to Arkansas on the road on Saturday. The Tigers still cling to 10th place in the league standings, the lowest spot that earns a first-round conference tournament bye, via tiebreaker.


Wednesday’s tipoff against Vanderbilt is set for 8 p.m. on ESPNU and will be radio broadcast on KTGR (105.1 FM).


Here’s a closer look at the MU vs. Commodores matchup. Below are projected lineups, players to watch, keys to the game and a score prediction.


Projected Missouri starters: Dru Smith, Xavier Pinson, Kobe Brown, Javon Pickett, Reed Nikko


Projected Vanderbilt starters: Ejike Obinna, Dylan Disu, Scotty Pippen Jr., Maxwell Evans, Saben Lee


Missouri player to watch


As the Tigers’ offensive approach has improved over the last few weeks, one player who found his scoring touch recently was freshman Kobe Brown.


Brown has started 22 of the 26 games he’s appeared in this season, giving him a ton of experience in his first season in Columbia. That should pay off years down the road as he gets more comfortable in the SEC.


On Saturday against the Razorbacks, Brown scored a career-high 17 points with 10 rebounds in 28 minutes of action.


As Dru Smith and Xavier Pinson continue to represent the primary scoring for MU, Brown’s contributions are a major plus, especially for a player comfortable playing on the perimeter, or battling in the low post.


Missouri head coach Cuonzo Martin has persisted that the power forward position may be the most important on his team because of how he runs offensive sets. That’s Brown’s spot, and Martin isn’t shying away from putting a first-year college player in a prominent role.


Vanderbilt player to watch


Since leading scorer Aaron Nesmith went down with an injury in the middle of the season, Saben Lee has been responsible for picking up most of that slack.


Lee is averaging 17.9 points per game and 4.3 assists per game. The junior also is shooting 48.8% from the field and leads the Commodores in minutes, playing 32.5 per game. He also only commits 1.7 fouls per game.


Lee scored 34 points in Vanderbilt’s home loss to Georgia and carried his team’s offense with 12-for-17 shooting and 10 of 11 from the free-throw line.


Missouri’s key to the game


MU sticking to the status quo would be beneficial.


Clearly, the new wave of running the offense through Pinson and Dru Smith works, and Saturday’s loss to Arkansas shouldn’t make the team overly course-correct. Even in defeat, MU played well and shouldn’t shy away from its newfound stream of success.


The possibility of Jeremiah Tilmon and Mark Smith returning to the lineup shouldn’t change that dynamic.


There’s too little time in the season left and too much momentum since the win over Arkansas on Feb. 8 to make any drastic changes to how Missouri’s offense runs.


The Tigers need to believe in the past for a better future.


Vanderbilt’s key to the game


Every SEC team has had success offensively against Vandy.


Georgia hit a buzzer-beater to down the Commodores, even LSU scored 90 in the Commodores’ lone league win.


Against a Missouri team that’s had past struggles scoring the ball, making those come to the surface could be Vanderbilt’s only way of getting its second conference win.


First-year head coach Jerry Stackhouse has the Commodores trending in the right direction with his defensive approach, but its long-term success hasn’t been proven yet.


Final score prediction


Missouri 82, Vanderbilt 70