What a week in the state of Illinois.
Illinois State took control of the MVC with a big win against Wichita State, Northwestern blew people’s minds with a 35-point win against Iowa, and UIC climbed into fourth place in the Horizon League.
That and more in this week’s Illinois Rankings.
1. Illinois State (14-4, 6-0 MVC)
Last week: 1
Illinois State made a statement with a 76-62 win against Wichita State. The Redbirds continue their quest for a perfect Valley season against Bradley and Drake this week.
2. Northwestern (15-4, 4-2 Big Ten)
Last week: 2
The Wildcats continue to look legitimate after Sunday’s thrashing of Iowa. They’re searching for their fourth straight win Sunday when they head to Ohio State.
3. Loyola (13-6, 3-3 MVC)
Last week: 4
After giving Wichita State a run for its money, Loyola knocked off Missouri State to move into fourth place in the MVC. With a win Wednesday, the Ramblers will sweep Northern Iowa for the second straight year.
4. Illinois (12-6, 2-3 Big Ten)
Last week: 3
After a nice win against Michigan, Illinois fell at home against Maryland. The Illini have a tough week coming up on the road with a matchup at Purdue and a rematch at Michigan.
5. Southern Illinois (11-8, 4-2 MVC)
Last week: 5
The Salukis have won four of their last five, quickly shaking off a lackluster non-conference performance. They have a good chance to move to 6-2 in the Valley this week with games against Drake and Northern Iowa.
6. Northern Illinois (11-6, 3-1 MAC)
Last week: 7
The Huskies have won three in a row since dropping their MAC opener. They are favored to make it four in a row Tuesday when they host Miami (Ohio).
7. UIC (10-8, 3-2 Horizon)
Last week: 8
After sweeping its Ohio road trip, UIC has won three of its last four games to move into fourth place in the Horizon League. If the Flames beat Milwaukee on Tuesday, they will be 4-2 in the conference for the first time since the 2006-07 season.
8. Bradley (8-11, 3-3 MVC)
Last week: 6
Bradley’s comeback Saturday fell short at Indiana State in an 81-71 loss. The Braves get a big test Wednesday when they host Illinois State.
9. DePaul (8-10, 1-4 Big East)
Last week: 9
After a thrilling win against Providence, DePaul got smacked by Marquette in Milwaukee.
10. Eastern Illinois (9-9, 1-4 OVC)
Last week: 10
After a surprisingly good non-conference performance, Eastern Illinois may be showing its true colors with a 1-4 start in the OVC. In other news, star guard Cornell Johnston changed his name to Terrell Lewis.
11. Chicago State (5-15, 1-3 WAC)
Last week: 12
Chicago State got its first WAC road win in two years with a 70-61 victory at Utah Valley.
12. Western Illinois (6-11, 3-3 Summit)
Last week: 11
After a strong start, the Leathernecks have dropped two in a row.
13. SIU Edwardsville (5-14, 0-5 OVC)
Last week: 13
The Cougars had a pair of close games last week but lost both.