For the first time since 1994, the men's basketball teams at Illinois, Missouri and St. Louis University all are in The Associated Press Top 25 as the Billikens climbed into the rankings Monday despite not playing a game since Dec. 23.
SLU (7-1) made its season debut in the AP poll at No. 23, its first appearance in the rankings since the end of the 2013-14 season. COVID-19 cases within SLU's program prompted a 14-day quarantine and forced the team to postpone last week's games against Duquesne and Massachusetts. It is expected that this week's games at St. Joseph’s and La Salle also will be postponed.
After a 2-0 week, Illinois (8-3) moved up three spots to No. 12, while Mizzou (7-1) dropped one spot to No. 13 after splitting games last week against Tennessee and Arkansas.
The last time all three local teams were ranked in the AP poll was Feb. 7, 1994, when Mizzou was No. 15, SLU was No. 17 and Illinois was No. 24.
The Volunteers remain the highest-ranked team in the Southeastern Conference, down two spots to No. 9 after losing Saturday to Alabama.
Clemson jumped into the top 25 this week in a tie at No. 19 with Virginia Tech. Ohio State and Northwestern both fell out of the top 25.
On Monday, the NCAA also released its first NET rankings of the 2020-21 season, and all three local teams appeared in the top 12: Illinois at No. 4, Missouri at No. 10 and SLU at No. 12. The NET rankings, which stands for the NCAA Evaluation Tool, became the primary sorting tool for the NCAA Tournament selection committee starting with the 2018-19 season. The NET rankings are updated daily through Selection Sunday.