The Illini began to re-emerge on some ballots last week following wins against Indiana and Minnesota, but couldn't convince enough voters to find themselves ranked again. And unfortunately, as I said last week, a couple of wins against Purdue and Northwestern probably weren't going to be enough to do it either.
Even if those wins are by a combined score of 141-100.
Still, the Illini are creeping ever closer to that top 25. Last week they received 26 points in the AP Poll, which was good enough for #35. This week they're up to 46 points and that puts them at #29.
In the Coaches Poll the climb isn't as quick. While the Illini climb from #37 to #33 in the Coaches Poll this week, they actually drop from 10 points to 9 points. So I'm really not sure what to make of that.
As for how the rest of the rankings could affect our possible tournament hopes, well, Indiana checks in at #1 again while Gonzaga climbs up to #3. Which means that
Illinois is the only school in the country Illinois and Butler are the only two schools in the country that can currently claim victories against two of the top three teams in the country.
Of course, Illinois beat Butler too. So Illinois is the only school in the country that can claim it beat two of the top three teams in the country and beat the other team to beat two of the top three teams in the country.