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Illinois is ranked for the first time since December 2014

All it took was a win over Rutgers. Who knew?

Evan McClintock | The Champaign Room

It’s been 1,869 days since Illinois cracked the top 25 in the AP poll, but the wait is over.

The Illini were listed at No. 24 in the AP poll on Monday afternoon after a string of three straight wins against Purdue, Wisconsin and Rutgers in the past eight days. They were last ranked on Dec. 1, 2014 after a 6-0 start and a Las Vegas Invitational Championship.

Illinois currently sits in second place in the Big Ten and just one game back of Michigan State after its loss at Purdue. Awaiting the Illini on Saturday is a favorable matchup at home against a middling Northwestern team.

Four other Big Ten teams joined the Illini in this week’s AP poll, Michigan State being the highest at No. 15.