Illini finish on high note, rank No. 21 in final poll


Jonathan Bonaguro

Giorgi Bezhanishvili celebrates on the sideline during Illinois’ game against Iowa on March 8. The Illini won 78-76.

By Gabby Hajduk, Sports Editor

The Illinois men’s basketball team came in at No. 21 in the final Associated Press Top 25 Poll of the season on Wednesday. The Illini haven’t finished a season ranked since the 2005-2006 season when the team advanced to the second round of the NCAA tournament and were ranked No. 13.

Illinois spent four-straight seasons out of the rankings, before being ranked No. 24 on Jan. 13 following a third-straight win on Jan. 11 against Rutgers. The Illini finished their season 21-10 with a 13-7 conference record.

The Illini were previously ranked No. 23 before beating then-No. 18 Iowa in what would be the last game of the season, due to cancellations of the Big Ten and NCAA tournament caused by COVID-19. The Hawkeyes finished the season at No. 25.

Along with Illinois and Iowa, four other Big Ten teams finished with top-25 rankings. Michigan State earned the highest ranking at No. 9 followed by Maryland at No. 12, Wisconsin at No. 17 and Ohio State at No. 19.


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