Rutgers is not only play its way onto the bubble for the NCAA Tournament, the Scarlet Knights are doing their best to play their way into contention for the regular-season B1G title.

The Scarlet Knights have put themselves in that position due to a winning streak vs. ranked opponents. That streak could reach four games after a hot first half vs. No. 12 Illinois.

At times, everything fell just right for Rutgers over the first 20 minutes. That included a banked-in 3-point shot from Ron Harper Jr. to give the Scarlet Knights a 13-point lead.

At the break, the Scarlet Knights have been balanced offensively. Harper has 9 points, big man Cliff Omoruyi has 7 points and 8 rebounds, and point guard Paul Mulcahy has 8 points and 4 assists.

For the Illini, Kofi Cockburn leads the way with a game-high 11 points and 5 rebounds. The big issue for Illinois was a 1-for-14 shooting effort from 3-point range.

Coming out of halftime, Rutgers will hold a 33-24 and has a shot to push things back into a 3-way tie for first in the B1G. Should the Scarlet Knights hang on, they would be 10-5 in conference play. That would leave Rutgers 1 game behind a 3-way tie with Illinois, Purdue and Wisconsin at 11-4. Stay tuned to see how this one finishes.