Illinois Rankings for the Week of March 9

Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

1. Illinois State (21-12, 11-7 MVC). Last week: 2

Illinois State upset No. 8 Wichita State in the MVC semifinals and led No. 11 Northern Iowa by 14 points at halftime in the championship game. But the Redbirds lost and control and fell 69-60, ending their chance of a NCAA Tournament bid.

 

2. Illinois (19-12, 9-9 Big Ten). Last week: 1

Illinois’ NCAA Tournament hopes are not done, but they took a bit hit with a loss at fellow bubble team Purdue on Saturday. The Fighting Illini need a deep run at the Big Ten Tournament, and maybe even need to win the whole thing, to get into the Big Dance.

 

3. Loyola (19-13, 8-10 MVC). Last week: 3

Loyola blew out Indiana State to reach the MVC semifinals but lost there to No. 11 Northern Iowa. The Ramblers are hoping for a bid to one of the smaller postseason tournaments.

 

4. Northwestern (15-16, 6-12 Big Ten). Last week: 4

Following a thrilling win on senior night against Michigan, Northwestern lost to Iowa. However, thanks to losses by Minnesota and Nebraska, the Wildcats will be the No. 10 seed at the Big Ten Tournament, receiving a bye to the second round.

 

5. DePaul (12-19, 6-12 Big East). Last week: 5

DePaul dropped its season finale at Marquette, ending the regular season on a seven-game losing streak and 10 defeats in its final 11 games. The Blue Demons will be the No. 7 seed at the Big East Tournament, hosting No. 10 seed Creighton in the first round.

 

6. Northern Illinois (14-15, 8-10 MAC). Last week: 7

Northern Illinois finished the regular season on a tear. The Huskies defeated Western Michigan and Ball State last week, finishing on a four-game winning streak. They travel to Akron on Monday for their MAC Tournament first round game.

 

7. Eastern Illinois (17-14, 9-7 OVC). Last week: 6

Eastern Illinois was knocked out of the OVC Tournament by Belmont in the quarterfinals. With a 17-14 overall record, the Panthers have an outside shot at a postseason bid to a smaller tournament.

 

8. SIU-Edwardsville (12-16, 8-8 OVC). Last week: 8

SIU-Edwardsville was eliminated in the first round of the OVC Tournament by Eastern Illinois, ending the Cougars season.

 

9. UIC (10-24, 4-12 Horizon). Last week: 10

UIC’s Cinderella run in the Horizon League Tournament ended with a semifinal loss to preseason favorite and No. 2 seed Green Bay. The Flames were actually in position to advance to the championship game with a 30-29 halftime lead, but then Phoenix star Keifer Sykes took over in the second half.

 

10. Southern Illinois (12-21, 4-14 MVC). Last week: 9

Southern Illinois battled well against No. 8 Wichita State in the MVC quarterfinals but fell short, 56-45. The Salukis have struggled under third-year coach Barry Hinson, but they have won an Arch Madness game each of the last two seasons.

 

11. Bradley (9-24, 3-15 MVC). Last week: 11

Bradley also put up a good fight in the MVC quarterfinals against No. 11 Northern Iowa. However, the Braves collapsed in the second half, falling 71-46.

 

12. Chicago State (8-23, 4-10 WAC). Last week: 12

Chicago State gave first-place New Mexico State another tough game Saturday but lost on the road 61-57. The Cougars will be the No. 6 seed in the WAC Tournament, facing Seattle in Thursday’s quarterfinals.

 

13. Western Illinois (8-20, 3-13 Summit). Last week: 13

Western Illinois stood no chance in the Summit League quarterfinals against top-seeded South Dakota State.

 

Past Rankings

Week of March 2

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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