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:
13. Virginia Tech
17. Texas Tech
18. West Virginia
20. Ohio State
25. Saint Louis