1. Northwestern (12-1). Last week: 1
Northwestern enters Big Ten play on a nine-game winning streak after defeating Sacred Heart and Loyola (Maryland) last week.
2. Southern Illinois (11-2). Last week: 2
Southern Illinois has played an easy schedule, but from a winning percentage standpoint it tied for the best non-conference performance in the MVC at .846.
3. Northern Illinois (9-2). Last week: 3
Northern Illinois plays its final non-conference game against a Division I opponent Tuesday at UIC.
4. Loyola (7-5). Last week: 5
Loyola held off Western Illinois’ comeback Monday and now enters MVC play searching for its three-game winning streak of the season. The Ramblers open Wednesday against Southern Illinois.
5. DePaul (6-6). Last week: 7
DePaul ended a three-game losing streak with a shocking, dominant upset of No. 20 George Washington. The Blue Demons begin Big East play Wednesday against a struggling Georgetown squad.
6. Illinois (8-5). Last week: 6
Illinois won bragging rights once again with a 68-63 win against Missouri in St. Louis. The Illini enter their Big Ten opener against Michigan riding a five-game winning streak.
7. Western Illinois (7-4). Last week: 4
Western Illinois’ road trip to the Windy City went worse than planned. The Leathernecks dropped both games to Chicago State and Loyola, and they now begin Summit League competition with losses in four of their last five games against Division I opponents.
8. Illinois State (6-7). Last week: 8
Illinois State wrapped up non-conference play with a win against Tennessee State, sending the Redbirds into MVC competition with wins in three of their last four outings.
9. Eastern Illinois (2-9). Last week: 9
Eastern Illinois has lost five straight games and is 0-8 away from home this season. The Panthers open OVC play this week with a pair of road games.
10. Bradley (2-11). Last week: 10
With a 53-49 loss to TCU on Wednesday, Bradley lost its 11th straight game against Division I competition. The Braves began MVC play with one of the toughest five-game stretches imaginable: at Northern Iowa, vs. Wichita State, vs. Southern Illinois, at Evansville, at Loyola.
11. SIU-Edwardsville (3-8). Last week: 11
In its only game last week, SIU-Edwardsville fell at USC.
12. Chicago State (4-10). Last week: 12
Chicago State played a surprisingly competitive game against Marquette last week but lost 91-74. The Cougars finished non-conference play on the road against Oakland and Ball State this week.
13. UIC (2-8). Last week: 13
UIC ended a six-game losing streak by beating Purdue-Calumet, but the Flames have still not defeated a Division I team this season. They get their final shot in non-conference play Tuesday against Northern Illinois.