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Illinois assistant coach Chin Coleman, left, talks with Illinois center Kofi Cockburn (21) during a timeout during their NCAA basketball game at the State Farm Center in Champaign on Sunday, January 10, 2021.

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CHAMPAIGN — Illinois' 66-63 loss to Maryland wasn't an aberration among ranked teams last week. That group of 25 combined for nine losses, with six coming in the Big Ten.

With several other teams falling short, Illinois (9-4, 5-2 Big Ten) didn't slip far in the latest Associated Press Top 25, checking in at No. 14 when the latest iteration was released late Monday morning. It was a two-spot drop for the Illini, who climbed three spots the previous week as their ranking has see-sawed along with their results.

Illinois was one of six Big Ten teams ranked in this week's poll. Iowa led the way again at No. 5, and the Hawkeyes were followed by No. 7 Michigan, No. 9 Wisconsin, the Illini in 12th, No. 21 Ohio State and No. 23 Minnesota. Rutgers dropped out of the AP Top 25 after losing to both Michigan State (which went on to lose to Purdue) and Ohio State (now back in the poll).

The Illini have two games this week. They return to action Wednesday with an 8 p.m. tip at Nebraska before hosting Ohio State for an 11 a.m. Saturday game at State Farm Center.

Scott Richey's AP Top 25 ballot:

1. Gonzaga

2. Baylor

3. Villanova

4. Texas

5. Kansas

6. Iowa

7. Tennessee

8. Creighton

9. Houston

10. Michigan

11. Wisconsin

12. Louisville

13. Virginia Tech

14. Clemson

15. Missouri

16. Illinois

17. Texas Tech

18. West Virginia

19. Colorado

20. Ohio State

21. UConn

22. Virginia

23. Rutgers

24. Minnesota

25. Saint Louis

Scott Richey is a reporter covering college basketball at The News-Gazette. His email is srichey@news-gazette.com, and you can follow him on Twitter (@srrichey).

College/Prep Sports Reporter

Scott Richey is a reporter covering college basketball at The News-Gazette. His email is srichey@news-gazette.com, and you can follow him on Twitter (@srrichey).

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