University of Missouri

Despite Sunday’s upset win at No. 10 Tennessee, Missouri women still unranked

Missouri guard Sophie Cunningham tried to drive around Georgia forward Malury Bates in an SEC tournament game on Friday night in Nashville, Tenn.
Missouri guard Sophie Cunningham tried to drive around Georgia forward Malury Bates in an SEC tournament game on Friday night in Nashville, Tenn. Associated Press

Fresh off one of its biggest wins in program history, the Missouri women’s basketball team started the week off with a snub.

Despite beating No. 10 Tennessee on the road 66-64 Sunday afternoon, Missouri was left out of the AP Top 25 for the fourth consecutive week. The Tigers received 39 points in Monday’s poll, third-most among teams outside the top 25 receiving votes. Missouri was ranked No. 22 a few weeks ago but fell out after a loss to South Dakota and a close win over UMKC.

Missouri (13-3) has won five straight and has the schedule in its favor to climb into next week’s poll. The Tigers host Arkansas on Thursday before traveling to Florida for a Sunday matinee. The Gators are 4-11 and in the cellar of the Southeastern Conference. The Tigers haven’t lost since the return of 6-foot-4 senior forward Cierra Porter, who has given MU a post presence it desperately needed.

Before Sunday’s win, ESPN women’s bracketologist Charlie Creme had the Tigers as a No. 9 seed in his projected NCAA Tournament bracket, facing Miami in the Eugene, Oregon regional. The Tigers have never advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament under Robin Pingeton and there’s some emphasis to do so this season with star player Sophie Cunningham in her final season with the program. Missouri’s win over Tennessee helped the Tigers chances of a better draw come March, but it can’t be the only signature win on Missouri’s resume.

The Tigers will have a number of opportunities to play themselves into possibility hosting the first and second rounds of the tournament, as they’ll face No. 16 Kentucky, No. 21 South Carolina and No. 7 Mississippi State all on the road in the coming weeks.

Missouri’s game against Arkansas is set to tip off at 7 p.m. on SEC Network+.

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Alex Schiffer has been covering the Missouri Tigers for The Star since October 2017. He came in second place for magazine-length feature writing by the U.S. Basketball Writer’s Association in 2018 and graduated from Mizzou in 2017.

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