Busting Brackets

NCAA Basketball: Arizona, Duke, and San Diego State rises in latest top 25 power rankings

It was a nice week for teams such as Arizona, Duke, Illinois, and especially San Diego State, who each move up in our latest NCAA Basketball power rankings.

Gonzaga v San Diego State
Gonzaga v San Diego State / Kent C. Horner/GettyImages
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10. Illinois (10-2)

This Illinois team has looked spectacular at times this year, but all the attention in recent days on the program has been due to Terrence Shannon Jr.’s suspension. He played a major role in wins over Florida Atlantic and Missouri and was on pace for an All-American season in leading the Fighting Illini. How this season will persist after this turmoil has yet to be seen.

We did see the Fighting Illini on the court just a day after that suspension, as they ended nonconference play on Friday night against Fairleigh Dickinson. Unlike their Big Ten rivals last March, the Illini had little trouble with the Knights, pulling out a 104-71 win even without Shannon. Six different Illini scored in double figures, led by 19 points from Dain Daina and 18 apiece from Coleman Hawkins and Justin Harmon, each playing a bigger role.

Realistically, the expectations should be lowered for the Illini without Shannon, but we’re not going to drop Illinois until it starts showing up on the court. They’ve played really well for the last month and look like one of the top contenders in the Big Ten, with plenty of chances to prove themselves ahead. In fact, they get thrown into the fire on the road against Purdue this upcoming Friday, with a home date against Northwestern a few days earlier.