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Illinois is only Big Ten school with ranked men’s & women’s programs

It’s only the preseason, but still.

Rutgers v Illinois Photo by David Berding/Getty Images

How about this stat?

After the Illinois women’s basketball team appeared at No. 23 in the preseason AP poll on Tuesday, the Illini became the only Big Ten program with a ranked men’s and women’s team ahead of the start of the new season.

The Illini men checked in at No. 25 on Monday.

It’s the first time the women are ranked in the preseason poll this millennium, after Shauna Green led Illinois to its first ranking since 2000 last season. The Illini then lost in the First Four round of the NCAA Tournament.

Does any of this mean anything in the grand scheme of things? Of course not, it’s just a preseason poll.

But nonetheless, it’s impressive! And says a lot about the expectations for both Green’s and Brad Underwood’s programs as they both look to take a step forward into the tournament’s second weekend.