(WCIA) — The first KenPom ratings of the college basketball season are officially out , with Illinois ranked at No. 5. They’re behind Michigan who ranks No. 2, and Gonzaga at No. 1. There’s still some bad blood between the Wolverine and Illini fan bases after Illinois didn’t get a share of the Big Ten regular season title. Commissioner Kevin Warren doubled down on his decision at Big Ten Media Day this month.
He defended his choice saying the conference initially decided crown a champion based on winning percentage. That gave Michigan the title, despite the Illini winning more big ten games. Michigan didn’t get a chance to play their full schedule. Illinois athletic director Josh Whitman went to bat for the Illini, pleading for a share of the title which was something that didn’t go unnoticed by Warren.
“I feel that we made the right decision, collectively with all the athletic directors,” says Warren. “Josh [Whitman] and I have had an opportunity to discuss the events of last year. I have great respect and admiration for Josh, and I’ve told Josh many times before, that I really appreciate and embrace his passion.”
Illinois has a chance to contend for the title again this season, retuning All-American Kofi Cockburn, along with most of their starting lineup from last season.