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Illinois jumps back up to No. 19 in latest AP poll

Still in there.

NCAA Basketball: Penn State at Illinois Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

It feels like it’s been forever since Illinois played a game, and that wait will continue for a few more days.

But in the meantime, the Illini find themselves still in the AP rankings, and actually moving up. Illinois sat at No. 22 last week, but after an impressive win over Penn State last Tuesday night, the Illini now are back up to No. 19 in the latest poll Monday morning.

The Illini fell down to their season-worst ranking after back-to-back home losses, but they were able to capitalize after changing up the starting lineup against the Nittany Lions.

Now the schedule gets a lot tougher, as Luka Garza and Iowa come to Champaign off a loss to Indiana. That game is currently scheduled for Friday night.

The Big Ten is cannibalizing itself. It’s time for the Illini to find a way to keep moving back up.