1. Southern Illinois (21-8, 10-6 MVC). Last week: 1
Southern Illinois knocked off Bradley last week but then fell on the road to Evansville. At 10-6, the Salukis are one game out of second place in the MVC entering the final week of the regular season.
2. Illinois State (17-12, 11-5 MVC). Last week: 2
Illinois State’s five-game winning streak ended Saturday with a 75-66 loss at Northern Iowa. The Redbirds still have never won at the McLeod Center.
3. Northwestern (17-10, 5-9 Big Ten). Last week: 3
With a 71-61 loss at Purdue last week, Northwestern has dropped seven of its last nine games.
4. Loyola (14-14, 7-9 MVC). Last week: 6
A huge week for Loyola resulted in wins against Northern Iowa and Missouri State. While they remain unlikely, the Ramblers chances for a Arch Madness bye are increasing.
5. Illinois (12-15, 4-10 Big Ten). Last week: 4
Illinois blew a double-digit lead Sunday at Wisconsin, leading to its fifth straight loss against teams not named Rutgers.
6. Northern Illinois (18-9, 7-7 MAC). Last week: 5
Northern Illinois is having its best season of the millennium, but the Huskies are still learning how to win on the road. After dropping a close decision at Ball State last week, they have lost six straight away from home.
7. DePaul (8-18, 2-12 Big East). Last week: 7
DePaul is amidst a four-game losing streak after dropping contests to St. John’s and Marquette last week. If the Blue Demons lose Thursday to St. John’s again, they will likely be the bottom seed in the Big East Tournament.
8. Eastern Illinois (12-16, 8-7 OVC). Last week: 8
After falling in three straight games decided by single digits, Eastern Illinois came out on the right side of a close game Saturday, defeating Southeast Missouri State, 73-70.
9. Western Illinois (9-16, 2-12 Summit). Last week: 9
Western Illinois matched up against two of the Summit League’s top teams, South Dakota State and North Dakota State. The results went as expected.
10. SIU-Edwardsville (6-21, 3-12 OVC). Last week: 11
After winning back-to-back games for the first time since December, SIU Edwardsville failed to grab its first three-game winning streak of the season, falling at Tennessee-Martin on Saturday.
11. Bradley (5-24, 3-13 MVC). Last week: 12
Bradley ended a three-game skid with a 73-70 win Saturday against Drake.
12. UIC (5-22, 3-13 Horizon). Last week: 10
UIC dropped two more competitive games last week to Detroit and Oakland.
13. Chicago State (4-25, 0-12 WAC). Last week: 13
Chicago State’s losing streak continued with losses at Utah Valley and Grand Canyon last week. The Cougars have now dropped 16 games in a row.