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Missouri men's basketball moves to No. 2 in rankings

Monday, January 23, 2012 | 11:50 a.m. CST; updated 7:11 p.m. CST, Monday, January 23, 2012
Missouri 's Kim English, 24, looks on as teammates Phil Pressey, 1, and Ricardo Ratliffe, 10, celebrate after Baylor's Pierre Jackson, 55, fouled Pressey in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday in Waco, Texas. Missouri won 89-88.

COLUMBIA — The Missouri men's basketball team moved to No. 2 in the latest editions of The Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today Coaches polls after a convincing 89-88 win over then-No. 3 Baylor on Saturday in Waco, Texas. It was Missouri's first road win against a top-five team since 1994.

The Tigers (18-1, 5-1 Big 12), previously ranked No. 5, passed Syracuse, Baylor and Duke, which all lost this week. No. 3 Syracuse (20-1) lost 67-58 to Notre Dame, which Missouri defeated 87-58 earlier this season. 

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WEDNESDAY'S GAME

No. 2 Missouri (18-1, 5-1 Big 12)
at Oklahoma State (9-10, 2-4 Big 12)

WHEN: 6:30 p.m.
WHERE: Gallagher-Iba Arena, Stillwater, Okla.
RADIO: 
KTGR/ 1580 AM, 100.5 FM; KCMQ 96.7 FM

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS TOP 25
The top 25 teams in The Associated Press' college basketball poll, with first-place votes in parentheses, records through Jan. 22, total points based on 25 points for a first-place vote through one point for a 25th-place vote and previous ranking:

 RecordPtsPrv
1. Kentucky (61) 19-1 1,620 2
2. Missouri (2) 18-1 1,532 5
3. Syracuse (2) 20-1 1,506 1
4. Ohio St. 17-3 1,411 6
5. Kansas 16-3 1,383 7
6. Baylor 17-2 1,234 3
7. North Carolina 16-3 1,232 8
8. Duke 16-3 1,176 4
9. Georgetown 16-3 1,045 10
10. Michigan St. 16-4 1,009 9
11. Murray St. 20-0 925 12
12. UNLV 18-3 886 14
13. San Diego St. 17-2 832 16
14. Florida 15-4 709 17
15. Creighton 18-2 682 19
16. Indiana 16-4 609 11
17. Marquette 16-4 517 21
18. Mississippi St. 16-4 422 18
19. Virginia 15-3 414 15
20. Michigan 15-5 396 20
21. Saint Mary's 19-2 345 24
22. Kansas St. 14-4 252 25
23. Florida St. 13-6 244
24. UConn 14-5 203 13
25. Wisconsin 16-5 182

Others receiving votes: West Virginia 96, Gonzaga 82, Vanderbilt 40, Louisville 35, Harvard 32, Wichita St. 28, Cincinnati 20, Illinois 11, Middle Tennessee 9, Dayton 3, Iona 2, Long Beach St. 1.



With the loss to Missouri, Baylor (17-2, 4-2 Big 12) dropped to No. 6 in the AP poll and No. 7 in the coaches' poll. Kansas is also in the top 10 at No. 5 in both polls.

Kentucky (19-1, 5-0 SEC) rose to No. 1 in both polls after defeating Arkansas 86-63 and Alabama 77-71 last week. Missouri received two first place votes in the AP poll.

The last time the Tigers were No. 2 was Week 4 of 2001. That 2001-2002 team went on to lose in the second round of the NCAA tournament and finished the season unranked. 

A Tigers player also received an individual accolade on Monday morning.

Missouri forward Ricardo Ratliffe was named Big 12 Player of the Week for his performance against Baylor. He scored 27 points, a career high, and pulled down eight rebounds. Ratliffe also scored 17 points in Missouri's win against Texas A&M last Monday.

Ratliffe is now shooting 77.2 percent for the season, the best mark of any player in the country.

"It's unheard of," Oklahoma State coach Travis Ford said in a Monday teleconference. Missouri plays at Oklahoma State (9-10, 2-4) on Wednesday night.

Ford is actually a former Missouri player. He spent one season playing point guard at Missouri — the 1989-90 season — before transferring to play at Kentucky. Missouri spent a few weeks ranked No. 1 during that season, and has not been ranked No. 1 since.

He said that Missouri is one of the toughest teams to prepare for because they can score so many different ways.

"They pass the ball very well, they're very unselfish," he said.

Despite his team's success, Missouri coach Frank Haith is concerned about Oklahoma State.

"They're a young team that's getting better and better," he said.


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