Illini up to No. 3 in AP Top 25 | Sports | – Champaign/Urbana News-Gazette


CHAMPAIGN — A pair of wins against top seven teams meant another move up the Associated Press Top 25 for Illinois in the penultimate poll of the 2020-21 season. The Illini, which won at Michigan and at Ohio State last week, reached a season high of No. 3 when this week’s top 25 was released late Monday.

Illinois (20-6) finished a somewhat controversial second in the Big Ten to secure a double bye for the conference tournament. The Illini won’t play until Friday’s quarterfinals, with a 5:30 p.m. game scheduled at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis against the winner of Thursday’s Rutgers-Indiana game.

Five Big Ten teams were ranked in Monday’s AP Top 25, with Illinois in the top five along with No. 4 Michigan and No. 5 Wisconsin. Ohio State slipped to No. 9 following its loss to Illinois, while Purdue climbed to No. 20 after securing its own double bye for the Big Ten tournament thanks to wins against Indiana and Wisconsin.

Scott Richey’s AP Top 25 ballot

1. Gonzaga

2. Baylor

3. Illinois

4. Michigan

5. Iowa

6. Arkansas

7. Alabama

8. Oklahoma State

9. West Virginia

10. Ohio State

11. Kansas

12. Houston

13. Texas

14. San Diego State

15. Loyola Chicago

16. Florida State

17. Purdue

18. Colorado

19. USC

20. Oregon

21. Virginia

22. Villanova

23. Creighton

24. Texas Tech

25. Virginia Tech

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