It was a rough end to regulation, but the Illinois basketball team came out victorious over Nebraska.
While I would have liked the Illini to look better in some key moments on Sunday night, the program did one thing no fan can be mad about. We won. I would rather win ugly than lose pretty 10 out of 10 times.
This victory over the Cornhuskers now marks three wins in a row and five wins in the last six contests. Illinois won two games last week. The win over Nebraska on Sunday, and the double-digit victory over Ohio State on the road last Tuesday.
With the Illini going 2-0 this past week, the AP Top 25 took notice. Illinois came into the week the No. 14 team in the country and now we have moved up four spots and sit as the No. 10 team in the latest AP Top 25.
Weirdly enough, Illinois has either been ranked No. 10 or No. 14 for the past month. The week of January 8, we were No. 10. The following week, we were No. 14. The week of January 22, Illinois jumped back up to No. 10. This past week, we dropped down to No. 14 again. Now our ranking is back at No. 10. That is five straight weeks of being either No. 10 or No. 14 in the country.
Illinois basketball has a chance to finish the 2023-24 season on a high note
The Illini are ping-ponging back and forth from No. 10 to No. 14 and back, but I think this could be the last time that happens. The schedule from here on out is very favorable to the Orange and Blue.
While three out of the next four games are on the road, they aren’t against extremely tough opponents. The next game is in East Lansing against Michigan State this upcoming Saturday. That is the toughest game out of the next six contests.
If Illinois can get past the Spartans unscathed, we then have Michigan at home, at Maryland, at Penn State, home against Iowa, and home against Minnesota.
Honestly, there are a lot of wins to be had. Illinois has a very favorable schedule, but in the Big Ten, nothing is guaranteed. Every night is going to be a fight. Let’s start things off right and take down Michigan State this weekend.