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Illinois stays put at No. 5 in AP poll

The Illini are clearly one of the nation’s top teams.

NCAA Basketball: Illinois at Minnesota David Berding-USA TODAY Sports

Nothing is changing for the Illini after a perfect 2-0 week.

Despite Ohio State’s Sunday afternoon loss to Michigan and Illinois’ undefeated week — including a dominant victory on the road at Minnesota — the Illini couldn’t leap the Buckeyes into the top four.

Illinois now still sits behind undefeated Gonzaga and Baylor, and Michigan and Ohio State squads that the Illini will get shots at next week. The Illini are only 14 points behind OSU in the polls.

But Brad Underwood’s team won’t probably get a chance to move up again this week. It’d be hard to imagine Gonzaga losing, Baylor losing enough times to drop out of the top-two, and Michigan losing once (plus to Illinois). The peak, after Michigan’s Sunday win, is probably No. 4, as long as the Illini beat the Buckeyes on March 6.

Three games on the docket this week: at Michigan State (Tuesday), vs. Nebraska (Thursday), at Wisconsin (Saturday). Win all three and give yourself a fighter’s chance at the Big Ten title next Tuesday against the Wolverines.

No. 9 Iowa and No. 23 Wisconsin are the two other Big Ten teams with spots in the rankings this week.