Voters: Jesse Kramer (The Catch and Shoot), Loretta8 (Sippin’ On Purple), Sean Hammond (The Daily Illini), Beau Spencer (My Summit League), Mark Primiano (The Champaign Room), Johnathan Hettinger (The Daily Illini), Erik Prado (The Daily Illini).
1. Illinois (13-2, 2-0 Big Ten), 91 points. Last week: 1
Illinois is tied for first place in the Big Ten at 2-0, with home wins against Indiana and Penn State. The Illini will be tested at Wisconsin on Wednesday.
2. Illinois State (8-6, 1-1 MVC), 84 points. Last week: 2
Illinois State lost a heartbreaker at Missouri State in its MVC opener, but the Redbirds bounced back with an easy win against Southern Illinois on Sunday to even their conference record. They play their toughest game of the season at undefeated Wichita State on Wednesday.
3. DePaul (8-7, 0-2 Big East), 77 points. Last week: 3
DePaul performed better than expected in road losses to Georgetown and Marquette, but the Blue Demons are 0-2 in the Big East regardlessly. They host Creighton in their home opener on Tuesday night.
4. Northwestern (7-8, 0-2 Big Ten), 65 points. Last week: 4
First-year head coach Chris Collins had a rough introduction to the Big Ten. Northwestern lost 76-49 at home to Wisconsin on Thursday, and then 74-51 at Michigan on Sunday.
5. Loyola (6-8, 1-1 MVC), 64 points. Last week: 5
Loyola had a pair of good showings last week, playing a tough game with premier mid-major Indiana State and then blowing out Missouri State, which entered the game at 11-2. The Ramblers play a pair of in-state games this week against Southern Illinois and Illinois State.
6. Bradley (6-9, 1-1 MVC), 50 points. Last week: 7
Bradley was blown out by Northern Iowa in its MVC opener, but the Braves rebounded with a solid win at home against Drake on Saturday. The Braves face their toughest stretch of the conference season over the next eight days. They host Missouri State on Wednesday and then play at Indiana State and at Wichita State, the league’s two favorites.
7. UIC (5-10, 0-1 Horizon), 43 points. Last week: 6
UIC’s losing streak stretched to four games with the Flames’ loss to Valparaiso on Thursday. They will host Youngstown State on Tuesday in their Horizon League home opener.
8. Northern Illinois (6-6), 40 points. Last week: 8
Northern Illinois defeated Bethune-Cookman in its final non-conference game. The Huskies began MAC play at Buffalo and Bowling Green this week.
9. Chicago State (6-8, 1-0 WAC), 38 points. Last week: 10
Chicago State upset Idaho on Saturday in its first-ever WAC game. The Cougars briefly return to non-conference play when they host Green Bay on Tuesday.
10. Western Illinois (6-9), 37 points. Last week: 9
Western Illinois fell to William & Mary on Saturday to wrap up its non-conference slate. The Leathernecks host a tough Nebraska-Omaha team on Saturday to begin Summit League play.
11. Southern Illinois (4-11, 0-2 MVC), 21 points. Last week: 11
Southern Illinois had a tough to start to MVC play with games against Wichita State and Illinois State, and the Salukis lost both games by double figures. The Salukis wrap up their two-game road trip at Loyola on Wednesday.
12. Eastern Illinois (4-10, 0-2 OVC), 17 points. Last week: 12
Eastern Illinois had a tough start to Ohio Valley play with games against Eastern Kentucky and Morehead State, and the Panthers lost both of them. They will be on the road this week against Tennessee Tech and Jacksonville State.
13. SIU-Edwardsville (4-11, 1-1 OVC), 9 points. Last week: 13
SIU-Edwardsville lost to Morehead State on Thursday but then upset Eastern Kentucky over the weekend. Eastern Kentucky entered the conference season as the favorite in the Ohio Valley Conference.