After recent losses to Missouri and Purdue, the #11 (AP) Illinois Fighting Illini put themselves back in national discussion as they defeated the #8 Ohio State Buckeyes handily by a score of 74-55. Brandon Paul led the Illini in scoring again with 19 points. Nnanna Egwu, Tracey Abrams, and Joseph Bertrand also scored double figures for Illinois. Deshaun Thomas led the Buckeyes with 24 points.
It will be tough to predict where Illinois will fall in next week’s rankings. They should be ahead of Ohio State, but the loss to Purdue (who lost to Eastern Michigan) may hurt their movement upwards. I believe they stay about the same if they do not advance by a spot.
Either way, the Illini will stay in the top 15 and now have a .500 record in the conference. No one expected this good of a start at the beginning of the season, and they will be a fun team to watch in March.