/College basketball rankings: Undefeated Missouri joins the Top 25 And 1 after its upset of Illinois
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College basketball rankings: Undefeated Missouri joins the Top 25 And 1 after its upset of Illinois

USATSI

Cuonzo Martin left Cal for Missouri in March 2017, immediately assembled a top-five recruiting class and seemed on his way to a string of NCAA Tournament appearances.

Then came the injuries.

Michael Porter Jr. only played three games in the 2017-18 season because of a back issue. Jontay Porter missed the entire 2018-19 season with a torn ACL. Mark Smith and Jeremiah Tilmon both missed time last season. It’s just been one thing after another after another. Bad luck multiplied by a million.

“We’ve taken our lumps,” Martin said Saturday.

But this season has gotten off to a healthier/better start. So far, every meaningful Missouri player has appeared in every Missouri game. The result is a 5-0 record highlighted by Saturday’s 81-78 upset of Illinois that pushed the Tigers into Sunday morning’s updated CBS Sports Top 25 And 1 daily college basketball rankings.

Missouri debuts at No. 16.

Whether the Tigers are legit contenders in the SEC remains to be seen. But, as I noted on Friday’s episode of the Eye On College Basketball Podcast, Missouri’s top five scorers are three seniors and two juniors. So this is an older team. And if there’s one thing we’ve learned through the first three weeks of this unusual season, it’s that the best teams are largely older teams filled with players who have performed at this level before. So that’s a good sign, undeniably.

Missouri going from unranked to No. 16, and Illinois falling from No. 7 to No. 17, caused Rutgers, Duke, North Carolina, Richmond, San Diego State, Florida State, Louisville, Michigan, Saint Louis and LSU to be pushed down one spot each, no fault of their own. That means LSU has gone from No. 26 to the first team out. And, before anybody asks, yes, Clemson is very much on my radar. Brad Brownell’s Tigers improved to 5-0 with a 64-56 victory over Alabama on Saturday. So they’re definitely knocking on the Top 25 And 1’s door.

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Sunday’s Top 25 And 1 rankings

OUT: LSU IN: Missouri