The new men’s AP Top 25 has been released, and the Illinois basketball team is on the outside looking in.
This hasn’t been a bad start to the 2023-24 campaign by any means. The Illini are 4-1 with the only loss coming to the No. 4 team in the nation Marquette Golden Eagles. Being the No. 23 team in the country at the time, I didn’t think Illinois would drop much if at all in the most recent AP Top 25 poll.
Well, I was wrong. In the newest installment, Illinois has dropped out of the AP Top 25 and is now receiving the second-most votes to be ranked. We check in with 138 votes, while BYU has the same number of votes and Memphis has 149 votes to be on the coveted list.
Leaving the Illinois basketball team off the AP Top 25 doesn’t make sense
If every team in the previous AP Top 25 won and Illinois was the only team that lost, then I would totally get us dropping out of the ranking. It would make sense. But with the way things played out, the most updated ranking doesn’t make sense.
Mind you, the only loss Illinois had was against the No. 4 team in the country. Let’s go over some of the teams that are in the AP Top 25 that also lost games.
USC is now the No. 23 team in the country after dropping seven spots. They lost to UC Irvine by 10 points just days ago. Michigan State is the No. 21 team in the country, and they have dropped games to No. 9 Duke and, at the time, an unranked James Madison squad.
Arkansas checks in at No. 20, and they just lost to UNC Greensboro 78-72. Florida Atlantic is No. 19 and they fell to Bryant 61-52.
All of the teams I mentioned above have worse losses than Illinois. The only blemish we have is against a top-five program, and the game was close throughout.
I am baffled by the AP Top 25 voters. The most updated ranking doesn’t make sense. Thankfully, there are plenty of games ahead to show that Illinois is one of the best teams in all of college basketball.