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Missouri is third in RPI and enjoying its highest KenPom ranking since February 2014

Here are today’s Mizzou Links.

Mizzou’s four-game, pre-Braggin’ Rights home stand begins tonight with a visit from Miami (Ohio). Tip off is at 8 p.m. CT on SEC Network. The Tigers’ first battle with the Redhawks was a year ago, and Mizzou won by 26.

This home stand unfolds with slightly increasing degree of difficulty. Miami (Ohio) is ranked No. 306 per KenPom, Saturday opponent Green Bay is 278th, North Florida (Dec. 16) is 271st, and Stephen F. Austin (Dec. 19) is 152nd.

Using KenPom odds, Mizzou has a 75 percent chance of going 4-0 in this stretch, then a 67 percent chance of beating Illinois. And if the Tigers lose one of these games, it probably won’t be tonight.

This home stand will improve Mizzou’s record — as I mentioned a few days ago, the Tigers should rather shortly match and exceed last year’s win total already — but decrease their RPI ranking. It has almost nowhere to go but down.

Mizzou has only played eight games, but it’s never too early for Bracketology.

In ESPN’s latest bracketology by Joe Lunardi, Missouri is in the Big Dance despite the absence of Michael Porter Jr., who is likely out for the season after undergoing back surgery. The Tigers are projected as a No. 11 seed playing Texas Tech in the first round in Wichita.

Lunardi’s latest projection has seven teams from the Southeastern Conference, including Tennessee, Alabama and Arkansas, as well as regulars Kentucky and Florida. With the conference appearing to be poised for a big year, Missouri’s conference schedule should provide the program with more help on Selection Sunday.

Meanwhile, though preseason projections are still playing a role, Mizzou enters this home stand ranked 53rd per KenPom, the Tigers’ highest ranking since beating Vanderbilt to rise to 46th ... on February 19, 2014. I kind of wish I hadn’t looked that up.

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