/College basketball rankings: Illinois is top team in Big Ten, jumps Michigan for No. 3 in Top 25 And 1

College basketball rankings: Illinois is top team in Big Ten, jumps Michigan for No. 3 in Top 25 And 1

The Big Ten’s athletic directors and Council of Presidents and Chancellors agreed in the preseason that the team with the best winning percentage in league games would be the Big Ten champion. So even though Illinois won two more conference games than anybody else, Michigan is technically the Big Ten champion.

That shouldn’t be controversial.

Again, this was an agreement reached in the preseason among league leaders. If anybody wanted to argue in favor of a different plan, that should’ve been done months ago, not now. So Michigan should get a trophy; Illinois should not. But, that said, there’s no denying the Illini closed the regular season more impressively than the Wolverines did.

Illinois is 11-1 in its past 12 games with victories over Michigan, Iowa and Ohio State. Meantime, Michigan is 1-2 in its past three games with losses to Illinois and Michigan State. As a result, the Illini have a national-best nine Quadrant 1 victories, which is two more than Michigan. And that’s among the reasons I’ve moved Illinois ahead of Michigan in Monday morning’s updated CBS Sports Top 25 And 1 daily college basketball rankings.

Both are still projected No. 1 seeds, though.

And if either of them were to lose early in the Big Ten Tournament and slip, Iowa and Ohio State are among the projected No. 2 seeds in position to maybe replace them. In other words, the Big Ten undeniably has more legitimate Final Four contenders than any other league. So it’s not crazy to think the Big Ten could have multiple teams playing on the final weekend of the season in Indianapolis, perhaps even three or four.

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Monday’s Top 25 And 1 rankings