Illinois Rankings for the Week of March 2

Photo: Loyola Athletics

1. Illinois (18-11, 8-8 Big Ten). Last week: 1

Illinois ended a three-game losing streak Saturday with a dominant win against Northwestern. The Fighting Illini remain on the NCAA Tournament bubble, although wins against Nebraska and Purdue this week would help their resume greatly.


2. Illinois State (19-11, 11-7 MVC). Last week: 2

Illinois State has won four straight games going into the MVC Tournament. The Redbirds face Evansville in the quarterfinals Friday after defeating the Aces on the road in overtime this past Saturday.


3. Loyola (18-12, 8-10 MVC). Last week: 5

Loyola finally has leading scorer Milton Doyle healthy, and that will make the Ramblers a tough out in the MVC Tournament. Loyola will face Indiana State, which swept the Ramblers, in the quarterfinals Friday.


4. Northwestern (14-15, 5-11 Big Ten). Last week: 3

Northwestern defeated Indiana for its first four-game winning streak since 1967 but then lost 86-60 at Illinois. The Wildcats are fighting for a Big Ten Tournament bye and will need to win at least one of their final two games to pass Minnesota for 10th place.


5. DePaul (12-18, 6-11 Big East). Last week: 4

DePaul’s slide continued with home losses to Creighton and Butler last week. The Blue Demons have lost six games in a row and 9 of their last 10 entering Saturday’s season finale at Marquette.


6. Eastern Illinois (16-13, 9-7 OVC). Last week: 6

Eastern Illinois fell short at Murray State in its regular season finale and enters the OVC Tournament with losses in three of its last four games.


7. Northern Illinois (12-15, 6-10 MAC). Last week: 8

Northern Illinois had a monster week, upsetting a pair of the MAC’s leaders in Toledo and Central Michigan. The Huskies finish the season with games against Western Michigan and Ball State.


8. SIU-Edwardsville (12-15, 8-8 OVC). Last week: 7

SIU-Edwardsville’s three-game winnings streak ended Thursday with a loss at Austin Peay. With an 8-8 record, this is the Cougars first time as a Division I program finishing .500 in conference record.


9. Southern Illinois (11-20, 4-14 MVC). Last week: 9

Southern Illinois ended a five-game losing streak Saturday with a 63-57 win against Drake. The Salukis will be the No. 9 seed in the MVC Tournament, facing No. 8 seed Missouri State on Thursday in the first round.


10. UIC (8-23, 4-12, Horizon). Last week: 11

UIC blew past Wright State over the weekend to earn the No. 6 seed and a home game in the Horizon League Tournament. The Flames will host the Raiders, who they swept, once again Tuesday in the tournament’s first round.


11. Bradley (8-23, 3-15 MVC). Last week: 10

With close losses to Missouri State and Indiana State last week, Bradley finished the regular season alone in last place in the MVC. The Braves will face Drake, which swept them, Thursday in the first round of the conference tournament.


12. Chicago State (8-22, 4-9 WAC). Last week: 13

It took a while, but Chicago State finally has win back-to-back wins against Division I opponents for the first time this season. The Cougars have a tall task ahead as they travel to first place New Mexico State on Saturday.


13. Western Illinois (8-19, 3-13 Summit). Last week: 12

Western Illinois looked like a possible surprise team in the Summit League after starting 2-0. Since then the Leathernecks are 1-13, including an eight-game losing streak to end the regular season.


Past Rankings

Week of Feb. 23

Week of Feb. 16

Week of Feb. 9

Week of Feb. 2

Week of Jan. 26

Week of Jan. 19

Week of Jan. 12

Week of Jan. 5

Week of Dec. 29

Week of Dec. 22

Week of Dec. 15

Week of Dec. 8

Week of Dec. 1

Week of Nov. 24

Preseason Rankings

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