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Illinois Up in Coaches Poll

Michigan State finally got its first Big Ten victory over Nebraska on Saturday following an 0-3 start to league play, but it was not enough to keep the Spartans from falling out of the USA Today Coaches Poll. After beginning the year at No. 12 in the poll and rising to No. 4 last month, the Spartans were relegated to the "others receiving votes" category by the coaches this week.

 

On the flip side, in-state rival Michigan ascended six spots to its highest ranking yet at No. 9 in the Coaches Poll following a 4-0 start to conference that has left the Wolverines as the last remaining unbeaten team in Big Ten league games. The only Big Ten team ranked ahead of Michigan by the coaches this week is No. 7 Iowa.

 

Illinois moved up to No. 12 in this week's Coaches Poll. Rival Missouri is not far behind at No. 13. Illinois beat Purdue Saturday evening. The Illini are off until Thursday night when they travel to Evanston, Illinois to take on Northwestern. 

 

Perhaps the biggest surprise in this week's Coaches Poll, though, is the resurgence of Creighton. The Bluejays catapulted five spots up to No. 5 after a 67-65 win at Providence on Saturday, making them the highest ranked two-loss team in the Coaches Poll. By contrast, Iowa and Kansas are both two-loss teams that are ranked of Creighton in this week's AP poll.

 

Gonzaga, Baylor and Villanova stayed as the top-three in this week's Coaches Poll, but there was one notable surprise at the bottom. Despite having not played since Dec. 16 and being just 3-2, Duke returned to the ranking at No. 24 after dropping out last week. 

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