Illinois gives Big Ten three spots near top of Ferris Mowers Mens Basketball Coaches Poll – USA TODAY

Gonzaga and Baylor continue to show the way in the Ferris Mowers Men’s Basketball Coaches Poll, with several pursuers from the Big Ten making big moves this week.

The Zags maintain the lead at No. 1 with 28 of 32 first-place votes, while the second-ranked Bears again are at the top of the other four ballots. The Big Ten holds three of the next four spots, led by Michigan moving up to No. 3. The Wolverines nudge ahead of No. 4 Villanova after the Wildcats dropped a mid-week game to St. John’s. Ohio State climbs four places to No. 5, while surging Illinois vaults seven spots all the way to No. 6.

Illinois center Kofi Cockburn (21) celebrates with guard Da'Monte Williams (20) and guard Ayo Dosunmu (11) during the second half against Wisconsin at State Farm Center.

Of course, that means someone in the conference has to be moving in the other direction. That would be slumping Iowa, who falls eight places to No. 16.

TOP 25:Complete Ferris Mowers Men’s Basketball Poll

Houston slips a couple places to No. 7, and Texas Tech moves up to No. 8. Virginia and Missouri round out the top 10.

No. 20 Southern California joins the poll  after taking down UCLA to gain a share of the Pac-12 lead. The Bruins didn’t fall out of the poll entirely, however, holding on at No. 24. Loyola-Chicago makes its season debut at No. 23, and Purdue grabs the No. 25 spot.

Kansas, Florida and Drake are the week’s dropouts. The Jayhawks are out of the poll for the first time since Jan. 26, 2009.

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