The Illinois College Basketball Rankings are a weekly feature this season on The Catch and Shoot where nine writers who cover college basketball in Illinois will rank the 13 Division I programs in the state.Voters: Jesse Kramer (The Catch and Shoot), Tom Fornelli (The Champaign Room), Mark Primiano (The Champaign Room), Loretta8 (Sippin’ On Purple), Chris Johnson (Inside Northwestern), Kevin Trahan (Inside Northwestern), Johnathan Hettinger (The Daily Illini), Erik Prado (The Daily Illini), and Sean Hammond (The Daily Illini).
1. Illinois (4-0), 117 points. Last week: 1
The only undefeated team remaining in the state, Illinois remains No. 1 in the poll. The Illini defeated Valparaiso and Bradley last week.
2. DePaul (2-1), 97 points. Last week: 3
DePaul lost to Southern Miss on Wednesday but avoided another home loss against Wright State on Saturday. The Blue Demons play at Milwaukee, which has started the season at 4-1, on Tuesday.
3. Northwestern (1-2), 95 points. Last week: 2
Northwestern did not have the pieces to compete on the road with Stanford, but it then came out flat against Illinois State at home and lost, 68-64. On Wednesday, the Wildcats play at UIC, which has defeated them four straight times.
4. Illinois State (1-2), 91 points. Last week: 4
Thanks to Zach Lofton’s four three-pointers and clutch free-throw shooting by freshmen Paris Lee and Tony Wills, Illinois State upset Northwestern on the road Sunday. Next up for the Redbirds is a home date with Manhattan.
5. Bradley (4-1), 90 points. Last week: 5
Bradley’s perfect start to the season ended at the hands of Illinois on Sunday. The Braves have another tough match with Arizona State on Friday.
6. Eastern Illinois (2-1), 69 points. Last week: 10
Eastern Illinois made a nice statement with a 20-point win at UIC on Saturday. The Panthers continue their road trip against Purdue on Wednesday.
7. Southern Illinois (0-2), 63 points. Last week: 7
Southern Illinois has started the season 0-2, but its opponents, Missouri and Saint Louis, have both been tough. The Salukis have an easier opponent in Austin Peay on Tuesday.
8. Loyola (1-2), 56 points. Last week: 6
After defeating Milwaukee in its season opener, Loyola lost to Tennessee Tech and Tulane last week. The Ramblers host a non-Division I opponent in Rockhurst on Tuesday night.
9. UIC (1-2), 42 points. Last week 8.
Illinois-Chicago was run out of its own gym on Saturday by Eastern Illinois. The Flames will be back in action against Northwestern on Wednesday.
10. Western Illinois (0-3), 38 points. Last week: 9
Western Illinois was swept on its three-game road trip, losing to Idaho, Nebraska, and Pacific. The Leathernecks play their home opener against Eureka on Thursday.
11. Chicago State (2-2), 29 points. Last week: 11
Chicago State won back-to-back games against Urbana and Jacksonville State but then lost at Bradley on Friday. Next up for the Cougars is Alabama State.
T-12. SIU-Edwardsville (1-2), 16 points. Last week: 13
SIU-Edwardsville picked up its first win of the season Saturday, defeating Central Arkansas by seven.
T-12. Northern Illinois (1-3), 16 points. Last week: 12
Northern Illinois has struggled so far with three close losses to Nebraska-Omaha, James Madison, and Milwaukee. Its only win is against San Jose State by one point.