Stakes getting higher for No. 5 Illinois

Local Sports

(WCIA) — A dominant 30-point win against Minnesota wasn’t enough to move Illinois up in the Top-25. The Illini keep their spot at No.5, with other Big Ten teams Michigan (#3) and Ohio State (#4) ahead of them.

The stakes are getting higher for the Illini who have a shot to claim a Big Ten title. After Michigan beat Ohio State on Sunday, Illinois is still a half game behind Michigan for first. With the team riding a 7-game win streak right now, they don’t plan on slowing down anytime soon.

“The goal that we established initially was to win a Big Ten championship, win a National Championship, be first place in the Big Ten,” says Illinois forward Jacob Grandison. “Right now we’re at the point where we’re extremely close to it, and it’s within reach, so everything is magnified and everything has so much importance.”

Grandison has been a constant for the Illini during this win streak, which is now the longest active win streak in the conference. Since making his first career start against Penn State on the road, the Illini have one every game since with Grandison in the starting lineup.

The Illini are heading into a grueling home stretch of the season, playing four games in eight days. It starts on Tuesday, with a road trip to Michigan State. Tip-off is at 6 p.m. CT.

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