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Illinois college basketball rankings

Northwestern vaults over Illinois for top spot

Updated: January 27, 2010, 3:47 PM ET
By Scott Powers | ESPNChicago.com

1. Northwestern (14-6): The Wildcats likely saved their season with Saturday's 73-68 home win over Illinois. Had they lost, they could have been headed to a 2-7 Big Ten record, as they travel to Minnesota and Michigan State this week. On Tuesday, they had their chances against Minnesota but couldn't finish and lost 65-61. The most impressive aspect of Northwestern's win over Illinois was that it was able to hold its ground while Michael Thompson sat on the bench in foul trouble for most of ...

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