Illinois Rankings, Feb. 6

Photo: Saluki Media Services

Not a whole lot of good things happened for teams in Illinois last week. In fact, Southern Illinois was the only team to make it out unscathed.

But all the losses mean we’ve got some big changes in this week’s Illinois Rankings.

1. Northwestern (18-5, 7-3 Big Ten)

Last week: 1

Although the Wildcats lost, they hold on to the top spot this week. Next up is a rivalry game against Illinois.

2. Illinois State (19-5, 11-1 MVC)

Last week: 2

With MVC Player of the Year candidate MiKyle McIntosh sidelined due to injury, Illinois State got rocked by Wichita State on the road.

3. Southern Illinois (14-11, 7-5 MVC)

Last week: 6

Southern Illinois made a big jump after knocking off Bradley and Loyola last week. The Salukis are now alone in third place in the Valley but face red-hot Northern Iowa on the road Wednesday.

4. Loyola (16-9, 6-6 MVC)

Last week: 3

The Ramblers were the heavy favorite to finish third in the Valley, but things changed drastically after they lost to Missouri State and Southern Illinois last week. Wednesday’s game at Evansville is a must-win.

5. Illinois (13-11, 3-8 Big Ten)

Last week: 4

The Illini are now in serious danger of missing the NIT once again. They’ve lost three in a row and six of their last seven, and they’ll be underdogs once again Tuesday at Northwestern.

6. Northern Illinois (14-9, 6-4 MAC)

Last week: 5

NIU fell just short against a very good Akron team but bounced back with a big win against Eastern Michigan. The Huskies are still in the thick of the MAC West title race.

7. UIC (12-12, 5-6 Horizon)

Last week: 8

The Flames nearly won at Green Bay (which went on to rock Valpo the following game) and then outlasted Milwaukee in overtime to end a four-game losing streak. UIC is still in the hunt for a top-four finish in the Horizon League, but they’ll need to take advantage of the next three games against Youngstown State, Cleveland State and Detroit.

8. DePaul (8-15, 1-9 Big East)

Last week: 7

DePaul has lost six straight, although a few have at least been close. Maybe the Blue Demons can steal an upset this week when they face banged up Xavier and Creighton.

9. Eastern Illinois (11-13, 3-8 OVC)

Last week: 10

Eastern Illinois got a nice win at Tennessee State but followed it up with a really bad loss at home to Tennessee Tech. The Panthers are second-to-last in the OVC West, but they could be favored in four of their final five games.

10. Bradley (9-16, 4-8 MVC)

Last week: 9

Bradley ended a six-game losing streak with a win against Drake, putting the Braves just two games out of fourth place in the Valley. If they’re going to get out of the Arch Madness play-in round, the Braves will need to beat Indiana State at home Wednesday.

11. Western Illinois (7-15, 4-7 Summit)

Last week: 11

Western Illinois fell out of the Summit League title race with losses to South Dakota State and Nebraska Omaha last week. The Leathernecks should be sizable underdogs in each of their final five games this year.

12. Chicago State (6-19, 1-7 WAC)

Last week: 12

In their only game of the week, the Cougars got blown out at New Mexico State, which has won 20 straight games.

13. SIU Edwardsville (5-20, 0-11 OVC)

Last week: 13

The Cougars have lost 16 straight against Division I competition.

Past rankings:

Jan. 30

Jan. 23

Jan. 16

Jan. 9

Jan. 2

Dec. 26

Dec. 19

Dec. 12

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