1. Southern Illinois (20-7, 9-5 MVC). Last week: 2
Southern Illinois put its four-game losing streak in the past with wins against Indiana State and Drake. A big game awaits Saturday at Evansville, which nipped Southern Illinois in overtime when they met in Carbondale.
2. Illinois State (16-11, 10-4 MVC). Last week: 3
Illinois State continued its recent tear with wins against Evansville and Bradley. The Redbirds have a difficult finish to the season, though, playing four of the MVC’s top six teams in the final four games.
3. Northwestern (17-9, 5-8 Big Ten). Last week: 1
Northwestern survived against Illinois thanks to a second-half shooting barrage from Tre Demps. The Wildcats now face a difficult two-game road swing with games at Purdue and Michigan.
4. Illinois (11-14, 3-9 Big Ten). Last week: 4
Losing to in-state rival Northwestern only makes this rough season more disappointing for the Illini.
5. Northern Illinois (17-8, 6-6 MAC). Last week: 6
Northern Illinois ended its five-game losing streak in a big way, knocking off MAC leader Akron.
6. Loyola (12-14, 5-9 MVC). Last week: 7
Loyola’s 19-point comeback against Evansville fell short in a 74-73 loss Sunday. Next up is a home contest with scorching Northern Iowa.
7. DePaul (8-16, 2-10 Big East). Last week: 5
In its only game of the week, DePaul is completely overmatched by No. 1 Villanova.
8. Eastern Illinois (11-15, 7-6 OVC). Last week: 8
Eastern Illinois lost twice last week after previously winning five straight games. The Panthers sit one game behind Murray State for first place in the OVC West, and they still have a home game against the Racers on Feb. 25.
9. Western Illinois (9-14, 2-10 Summit). Last week: 10
Western Illinois’ perfect February ended Saturday with a loss at Oral Roberts.
10. UIC (5-19, 3-10 Horizon). Last week: 12
UIC pulled off a pair of upsets last week, defeating Wright State and Northern Kentucky. The Flames have won three of their last four games.
11. SIU-Edwardsville (5-20, 2-11 OVC). Last week: 11
SIU Edwardsville ended a six-game losing streak by upsetting Eastern Illinois on the road.
12. Bradley (4-23, 2-12 MVC). Last week: 9
Bradley’s offense remains the least efficient in college basketball after averaging 0.79 points per possession in losses to Loyola and Illinois State.
13. Chicago State (4-23, 0-10 WAC). Last week: 13
With a loss at home to New Mexico State, Chicago State has now dropped 14 straight games. The Cougars’ chances for a win this week are slim as they travel to Utah Valley and Grand Canyon.