1. Illinois (16-8, 6-5 Big Ten). Last week: 1
Illinois moved into the NCAA Tournament picture Saturday with a 59-54 win at Michigan State. The Illini, who are 3-3 against Top 50 RPI teams, have an opportunity for another huge road this coming weekend at Wisconsin.
2. DePaul (12-13, 6-6 Big East). Last week: 2
DePaul opened the week defeating Seton Hall for a season sweep but then fell at Butler over the weekend. The Blue Demons finish their road trip Wednesday at St. John’s.
3. Illinois State (15-9, 7-5 MVC). Last week: 3
Illinois State’s three-game winning streak ended Saturday with a loss at Southern Illinois. The Redbirds are staring at two more losses this week with games against Northern Iowa and Wichita State.
4. Northwestern (10-13, 1-9 Big Ten). Last week: 4
Northwestern is 0-9 in 2015 after getting smacked by Wisconsin. The Wildcats play a pair of winnable home games this week against Michigan State and Iowa.
5. Loyola (14-10, 4-8 MVC). Last week: 5
Loyola ended its losing streak Wednesday with a win at Missouri State, but the Ramblers dropped another Saturday against Indiana State. This week they face Southern Illinois and Bradley, two of the teams tied for last place in the MVC.
6. Eastern Illinois (14-10, 7-4 OVC). Last week: 6
Eastern Illinois has lost four of its last five OVC games. The Panthers have a pair of division road games this week against Austin Peay and SIU-Edwardsville.
7. Southern Illinois (10-15, 3-9 MVC). Last week: 8
Southern Illinois ended its four-game losing streak with a 65-59 upset of Illinois State. The Salukis travel to Loyola on Wednesday.
8. Bradley (8-17, 3-9 MVC). Last week: 9
Bradley took advantage of Evansville playing without center Egidijus Mockevicius and upset the Aces 56-53 on Saturday. The Braves have a chance to turn this into a winning streak with games against Drake and Loyola this week.
9. Northern Illinois (9-12, 3-7 MAC). Last week: 7
Northern Iowa has dropped four of its last five games after falling at home to Bowling Green.
10. SIU-Edwardsville (9-13, 5-6 OVC). Last week: 10
SIU-Edwardsville lost another close game last week, this time to Tennessee-Martin. The Cougars have a tall task ahead with a trip to Murray State on Thursday.
11. UIC (6-19, 2-8 Horizon). Last week: 12
UIC ended an eight-game losing streak Sunday with an 83-73 win at Detroit. The Flames look for more success on the road this week with they play Wright State and Cleveland State.
12. Western Illinois (8-13, 3-7 Summit). Last week: 11
Western Illinois has lost seven of its last eight games, dropping the Leathernecks to 8th place in the Summit League.
13. Chicago State (6-19, 2-6 WAC). Last week: 13
Chicago State has been more competitive in the last three games with a 2-1 record. The only loss in that stretch was in overtime to WAC leader New Mexico State.