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Illinois Basketball Climbs to #11 in AP Poll



Illinois Basketball Climbs to #11 in AP Poll
Dec 2, 2023; Piscataway, New Jersey, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini guard Terrence Shannon Jr. (0) reacts after a three point basket against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights during the second half at Jersey Mike's Arena. Mandatory Credit: Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Illinois Basketball Climbs to #11 in AP Poll

Illinois Basketball continues their ascent in the AP polls. The Illini are currently 9-2 after beating the Missouri Tigers in the annual Braggin’ Rights game. Illinois has some quality wins through their non-conference slate. They beat Rutgers on the road and also beat Florida Atlantic in a neutral site game at Madison Square Garden. However, Illinois did miss an opportunity to grab that real crown jewel of a win. They held the lead at home vs Marquette and at one point on the road against Tennessee. Unfortunately, Illinois was not able to come out on top in either of these games. Marquette and Tennessee are currently top 10 teams in this current AP poll.

Despite being chalked up as good wins, Rutgers is a mediocre team at best, and Missouri is simply not good. Florida Atlantic is the Illini’s best win,however, it lacks that certain luster that some other “marquee” wins would have.

Chances are coming.

Despite the lack of shine about Florida Atlantic, the Owls carry an impressive resume. They are 3-1 in Quad-1 games and are 6-1 in the first two quadrants. They unfortunately hold a quad four loss,however, their record in the first two quadrants is as good as anyone’s. Purdue is 7-1 in their first two quadrant games. For further reference, Marquette is 3-3 and Tennessee is 5-3 in quad one and two games. Illinois Basketball fans will continue to root for Rutgers. The win on the road vs the Scarlet Knights is on the border of being a quad one victory, however, recent stumbles have caused their net ranking to drop.

Illinois Basketball will have 8 Quad one games in the next two months. To build a strong resume, Illinois has to grab a majority of these. Brad Underwood needs to have some luck to get over that “march madness” hump. Despite some faults, his NCAA tournament matchups have always been unfavorable. If he can lead his squad to a strong Quad one resume, some of that luck will be more likely to come the Illini’s way.


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Alex is the Owner of, your go-to source for in depth coverage of the Illinois Fighting Illini. Alex is a Resident Physician in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation for Northwestern Medicine and has had articles featured in top media publications like Bleacher Report, YardBarker, Verbal Commits, CBS sports and more.