CHAMPAIGN — A blowout win at Minnesota to cap a 2-0 week at least created the chance, slim as it might be, for Illinois to move up in this week’s Associated Press Top 25. One of Michigan and Ohio State was going to lose given the two teams played Sunday.
The Buckeyes ultimately dropped a five-point game at home to the Wolverines. But the top five of the AP Top 25 held steady this week, with the Illini remaining at No. 5 behind Gonzaga, Baylor, Michigan and Ohio State.
The gap between Ohio State at No. 4 and Illinois at No. 5, however, was small. The Buckeyes’ votes totaled 1,370 points. The Illini checked in with 1,356 points.
Illinois (16-5, 12-3 Big Ten) currently holds the longest active winning streak in the conference at seven. Ohio State’s loss to Michigan snapped its own seven-game streak, and the Wolverines’ three-week pause means they’re at just five wins in a row dating back to Jan. 19.
The Big Ten had five teams ranked this week. In addition to three in the top five, Iowa moved up two spots to No. 9 and Wisconsin slid two spots to No. 23 after losing Sunday to the Hawkeyes.
Illinois will put its seven-game winning streak on the line at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Michigan State. The Spartans, currently 11th in the Big Ten standings, won at Indiana on Saturday but have just three wins in their last nine games.
Scott Richey's AP Top 25 ballot
4. Ohio State
10. West Virginia
11. Florida State
18. Texas Tech
19. Virginia Tech
22. San Diego State
23. Loyola Chicago