New record: 3 B1G men's basketball programs break new ground in AP Poll
Three Big Ten programs appeared in the top five of the newly-released AP Poll on Monday morning, setting a new all-time record for the conference.
According to ESPN Stats & Info, it’s the first time three different Big Ten teams have appeared in the top five of the poll after Feb. 1 in conference history.
This is the first time in Big Ten history that 3 teams from the conference are in the top-5 of the AP Poll after February 1st. https://t.co/SfofB3vSke
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) February 15, 2021
Michigan, Ohio State and Illinois round out the top five after undefeated Gonzaga and Baylor. The Wolverines played their first game since Jan. 22 on Monday, defeating Wisconsin 67-59 on the road.
That was a statement win from Michigan, who needed to prove it still belongs in the one-seed conversation after a lengthy COVID-19-related hiatus. Forward Isaiah Livers scored 20 points in the win.
Ohio State is in the midst of a hot streak. The Buckeyes are one a six-game winning streak and have surged up to third place in the Big Ten standings.
Illinois is also peaking at the right time. The Illini have won five straight contests, and junior guard Ayo Dosunmu is emerging as a legitimate National Player of the Year candidate. He’s averaging 21.7 points, 6.2 rebounds and 5.1 assists per game.
These three teams still have a couple meetings to go. Illinois is set to face Ohio State on March 6 in its regular season finale. Illinois was scheduled to play Michigan earlier in the year, but that game was canceled. However, a makeup game is still possible for those two Big Ten frontrunners. Ohio State hosts Michigan on Feb. 21.