CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — In his fifth season, Illinois head coach Brad Underwood nearly has as many wins over AP Top 10 ranked teams than Bruce Weber and John Groce had combined in 14 years. Underwood won his 10th game over a Top 10 ranked team on Tuesday night, beating No. 10 Michigan State 56-55 at State Farm Center. It moves Underwood’s record to 10-9 overall against Top 10 teams, he’s 14-23 against ranked teams. For reference, Illinois legend and Hall of Fame coach Lou Henson went 21-55 against Top 10 teams in 21 seasons, meaning Underwood is almost halfway to that landmark.

“I told the team, I wrote it on the board, ‘Culture Win,'” Underwood said. “And I couldn’t be prouder or happier for a group of guys in that locker room than I was tonight. You find a way and I walked in with boxing gloves into scouting report and film and I told our guys it’s a heavyweight fight and it’s 12 rounds and you’re probably going to get knocked down and it’s about how many times are we going to do that.”

To make it more impressive, Underwood and the Illini are now 9-4 over the last three years against Top 10 ranked teams. With the win over the Spartans, the Illini moved into sole possession of first place in the Big Ten, a half game ahead of Michigan State and Wisconsin.

Illinois returns to the court Saturday visiting Northwestern for a 3:30 p.m. tip-off on Big Ten Network.