Illinois enters Top 5; Loyola remains among ranked teams

Gonzaga and Baylor lead an unchanged quartet atop The Associated Press men’s college basketball poll.

SHARE Illinois enters Top 5; Loyola remains among ranked teams
Illinois moved up to No. 5 in the AP Top 25 men’s basketball poll.

Illinois moved up to No. 5 in the AP Top 25 men’s basketball poll.

Francis Gardler/Lincoln Journal Star via AP

Gonzaga and Baylor lead an unchanged quartet atop The Associated Press men’s college basketball poll, while Kansas has returned to the rankings at No. 23 after a one-week absence and Illinois entered the Top 5.

Loyola remained at No. 22.

Coach Mark Few’s Bulldogs received 59 of 64 first-place votes in Monday’s latest AP Top 25, while Scott Drew’s Bears claimed the other five. Those two teams have been 1-2 in all 13 polls this season and also headlined Saturday’s initial rankings for the committee that will select the field of 68 for the NCAA Tournament.

Next came three straight Big Ten teams, starting with No. 3 Michigan and No. 4 Ohio State in their same positions from last week, followed by Illinois in its return to the top 5 for the second time this season.

Illinois climbed to the top 5 for the second time this season, the other coming in late November, for the program’s highest ranking since reaching No. 1 during the 2004-05 season. The Illini dipped to No. 22 by January but have won five straight, including against Iowa and No. 21 Wisconsin.

Houston, Virginia, Alabama, Oklahoma and Villanova rounded out the top 10.

No. 14 Creighton had the week’s biggest climb, jumping five spots after a weekend win over Villanova. No. 20 Missouri took the biggest tumble, falling 10 spots after two losses in Southeastern Conference play last week.

The Jayhawks fell out of last week’s poll for the first time in 12 years, but their absence turned out to be a short one. Kansas was one of three new additions to this week’s poll, joined by No. 24 Arkansas — marking the Razorbacks’ first appearance since January 2018 — and No. 25 San Diego State.

Oklahoma State, Purdue and Rutgers fell out of the rankings.

The Top 25

1. Gonzaga 20-0

2. Baylor 17-0

3. Michigan 14-1

4. Ohio St. 17-4

5. Illinois14-5

6. Houston 17-2

7. Virginia 15-3

8. Alabama 17-5

9. Oklahoma 13-5

10. Villanova 13-3

11. Iowa 15-6

12. Texas 13-5

13. West Virginia 14-6

14. Creighton 16-5

15. Texas Tech 14-6

16. Florida St. 11-3

17. Southern Cal 17-3

18. Virginia Tech 14-4

19. Tennessee 14-5

20. Missouri 13-5

21. Wisconsin 15-7

22. Loyola 18-4

23. Kansas 15-7

24. Arkansas 16-5

25. San Diego St. 15-4

The Latest
Prosecutors sought at least 25 years in prison for R. Kelly, who was convicted of sex trafficking last year in New York.
Crime Gun Connect will compile data about weapons from departments across the state.
The Sky went 11-2 in June propelling them to second in league standings, a game behind the Las Vegas Aces.
Except, it isn’t a movie. It’s all from actual testimony in the Jan. 6 hearing this week from former White House aide Cassidy Hutchinson. And it hasn’t ended.