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2021 Top Illinois Men's Basketball Schools

37 Colleges
$33,858 Avg Tuition & Fees*
51% Avg 4-Year Grad Rate*

It's not easy to decide which college to attend when there are so many options available for student athletes. At College Factual, we're committed to helping you make that decision by providing information such as that found in our Best Colleges for Men's Basketball in Illinois ranking.

We analyzed 37 colleges and universities across Illinois to determine which were the best for Men's Basketball athletes in Illinois. Our ranking is based on several objective factors, including the school's overall quality and the athletic competitiveness of the school. We steer clear of subjective measures since they don't give a clear picture when determining how one school compares to another. So, even if a school has a great team, it won't place well if it is also considered a low quality college or university.

See what other factors we include in our ranking methodology.

Custom Rankings

We've developed a number of other tools and rankings to help you make your college decision. Start by filtering this list by location and then explore our other rankings that feature schools great for different groups of students such as online students or returnings adults.

You can create your own custom comparison that focuses on the factors most important to you using our tool, College Combat. If you're torn between two schools, you can use it to help you see how they stack up against one another. Bookmark it so you can compare any new schools that might interest you.

Top Colleges in Illinois for Men's Basketball athletes in Illinois

See which schools came out on top of our ranking:

#1

Northwestern University

Evanston, Illinois

Northwestern University tops this year’s ranking as the best school for Men’s Basketball athletes in Illinois. Evanston, Illinois is the setting for this large institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 2,770 students in 2018-2019.

Northwestern brought in $12,669,660 while tallying up $10,646,711 in expenses for its Men’s Basketball team. Thus, the team actually made $2,022,949, which isn’t bad at all. Sports aren’t the only thing that the team excels at - they had a perfect academic progress rate of 1000.

With a student-to-faculty ratio of 6 to 1, it’s easy to see that the school is committed to helping their undergraduates succeed. In addition to its Best Colleges for Men’s Basketball in Illinois ranking, and one of the reasons why the school is on the list, Northwestern is ranked #1 for overall quality in Illinois.

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Out of the 37 schools in Illinois that were part of this year’s ranking, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign landed the #2 spot on the list. Located in Champaign, Illinois, the large public school handed out 8,983 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The Men’s Basketball team at UIUC made $21,419,589 in revenue, while incurring $10,480,939 in expenses. Thus, the team actually made $10,938,650, which isn’t bad at all. The academic progress rate of the team is 948.

With a freshman retention rate of 92%, the school does an excellent job of retaining its students. UIUC did well in our overall quality rankings, too. It placed #3 on our overall quality list.

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#3

Illinois State University

Normal, Illinois

A rank of #3 on our list means Illinois State University is a great place for Men’s Basketball athletes in Illinois working on their bachelor’s degree. This large public school is located in Normal, Illinois, and it awarded 4,822 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

On the financial side of things, the Men’s Basketball team at Illinois State made $2,440,752 in revenue. The team has a respectable academic progress rate of 961.

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#4

Loyola University Chicago

Chicago, Illinois

You’ll join some of the best athletes around if you attend Loyola University Chicago. The school came in at #4 in this year’s ranking. Loyola Chicago is a fairly large private not-for-profit school situated in Chicago, Illinois. It awarded 2,792 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The Men’s Basketball team at Loyola Chicago brought home $4,348,837 in revenue in a single year. The academic progress rate of the team is 959.

Loyola Chicago also claimed a spot on our overall quality list. It’s in the top 15% of all schools in this category.

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#5

Bradley University

Peoria, Illinois

You’ll be in good company if you decide to attend Bradley University. It ranked #5 on our 2021 Best Colleges for Men’s Basketball athletes in Illinois list. This medium-sized private not-for-profit school is located in Peoria, Illinois, and it awarded 1,048 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The Men’s Basketball team at Bradley brought home $3,778,660 in revenue in a single year. The great academic progress rate of 995 shows that team members perform well in the classroom, too.

With a freshman retention rate of 86%, the school does an excellent job of retaining its students. In addition to its great ranking here, Bradley is in the top 15% of all schools on our overall quality list.

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#6

University of Chicago

Chicago, Illinois

University of Chicago came in at #6 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for Men’s Basketball in Illinois ranking. Located in Chicago, Illinois, the fairly large private not-for-profit school awarded 2,024 diplomas to qualified bachelor’s degree students in 2018-2019.

The Men’s Basketball team at UChicago brought home $308,141 in revenue in a single year.

The school has an excellent freshman retention rate of 99%, which means students like the school well enough to return for a second year. UChicago also took the #2 spot in our overall quality rankings.

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#7

Illinois Wesleyan University

Bloomington, Illinois

With a ranking of #7, Illinois Wesleyan University did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges for Men’s Basketball in Illinois ranking. Illinois Wesleyan is a small private not-for-profit school situated in Bloomington, Illinois. It awarded 434 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Speaking financially, the Men’s Basketball team at Illinois Wesleyan took home $167,725 in revenue.

With a freshman retention rate of 89%, the school does an excellent job of retaining its students. As a testament to the quality of education it offers, Illinois Wesleyan also is in the top 10% of our overall quality ranking.

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#8

Augustana College

Rock Island, Illinois

Augustana College did quite well in the 2021 Best Colleges for Men’s Basketball in Illinois ranking, coming in at #8. Located in Rock Island, Illinois, the small private not-for-profit school handed out 855 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

On the financial side of things, the Men’s Basketball team at Augustana made $409,478 in revenue.

The school has an excellent freshman retention rate of 87%, which means students like the school well enough to return for a second year. On top of its placing in this ranking, Augustana also did well on our overall quality list. It’s in the top 20% of all schools reviewed in this analysis.

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#9

DePaul University

Chicago, Illinois

With a ranking of #9, DePaul University did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges for Men’s Basketball in Illinois ranking. DePaul is a large private not-for-profit school situated in Chicago, Illinois. It awarded 3,518 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Speaking financially, the Men’s Basketball team at DePaul took home $6,793,520 in revenue. The team has a respectable academic progress rate of 968.

In addition to its great ranking here, DePaul is in the top 20% of all schools on our overall quality list.

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#10

University of Illinois at Chicago

Chicago, Illinois

With a ranking of #10, University of Illinois at Chicago did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges for Men’s Basketball in Illinois ranking. UIC is a public institution located in Chicago, Illinois. The school has a large population, and it awarded 4,524 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The Men’s Basketball team at UIC brought home $2,248,503 in revenue in a single year. The academic progress rate of the team is 954.

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Southern Illinois University Carbondale landed the #11 spot on the 2021 Best Colleges for Men’s Basketball in Illinois ranking. Located in Carbondale, Illinois, the fairly large public school handed out 3,120 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Speaking financially, the Men’s Basketball team at SIUC took home $2,482,549 in revenue. The academic progress rate of the team is 962.

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#12

Lewis University

Romeoville, Illinois

Lewis University came in at #12 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for Men’s Basketball in Illinois ranking. Lewis is located in Romeoville, Illinois and, has a medium-sized student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 1,234 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergraduates.

Speaking financially, the Men’s Basketball team at Lewis took home $661,650 in revenue.

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#13

Northern Illinois University

Dekalb, Illinois

Northern Illinois University ranked #13 on this year’s Best Colleges for Men’s Basketball in Illinois list. NIU is a public institution located in Dekalb, Illinois. The school has a fairly large population, and it awarded 3,441 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

On the financial side of things, the Men’s Basketball team at NIU made $1,775,696 in revenue. The academic progress rate of the team is 951.

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#14

Wheaton College Illinois

Wheaton, Illinois

Wheaton College Illinois came in at #14 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for Men’s Basketball in Illinois ranking. Located in Wheaton, Illinois, the small private not-for-profit school handed out 720 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

On the financial side of things, the Men’s Basketball team at Wheaton College Illinois made $289,183 in revenue.

Students who start out at the school are likely to stick around. The freshman retention rate is 93%. Wheaton College Illinois also made our overall quality list, coming in at #4.

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#15

Lake Forest College

Lake Forest, Illinois

With a ranking of #15, Lake Forest College did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges for Men’s Basketball in Illinois ranking. Lake Forest is located in Lake Forest, Illinois and, has a small student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 453 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergraduates.

On the financial side of things, the Men’s Basketball team at Lake Forest made $131,450 in revenue.

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#16

North Central College

Naperville, Illinois

North Central College did quite well in the 2021 Best Colleges for Men’s Basketball in Illinois ranking, coming in at #16. Naperville, Illinois is the setting for this small institution of higher learning. The private not-for-profit school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 872 students in 2018-2019.

The Men’s Basketball team at North Central made $318,817 in revenue, while incurring $282,220 in expenses. Happily, this means that the team turned a profit of $36,597.

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#17

Eastern Illinois University

Charleston, Illinois

Eastern Illinois University came in at #17 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for Men’s Basketball in Illinois ranking. This medium-sized public school is located in Charleston, Illinois, and it awarded 1,244 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Speaking financially, the Men’s Basketball team at EIU took home $1,146,676 in revenue. The team has a respectable academic progress rate of 955.

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#18

Benedictine University

Lisle, Illinois

With a ranking of #18, Benedictine University did quite well on the 2021 Best Colleges for Men’s Basketball in Illinois ranking. Benedictine University is a small private not-for-profit school located in Lisle, Illinois that handed out 777 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The team at Benedictine U took home $531,711 in revenue and paid out $463,197 in expenses in recent times. So, the team made money for the school, bringing in $68,514 in profit.

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#19

North Park University

Chicago, Illinois

North Park University ranked #19 on this year’s Best Colleges for Men’s Basketball in Illinois list. This small private not-for-profit school is located in Chicago, Illinois, and it awarded 499 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Speaking financially, the Men’s Basketball team at North Park took home $223,193 in revenue.

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#20

Greenville University

Greenville, Illinois

Greenville University landed the #20 spot on the 2021 Best Colleges for Men’s Basketball in Illinois ranking. This small private not-for-profit school is located in Greenville, Illinois, and it awarded 304 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The team at Greenville took home $190,817 in revenue and paid out $125,631 in expenses in recent times. Thus, the team actually made $65,186, which isn’t bad at all.

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#21

Dominican University

River Forest, Illinois

Dominican University landed the #21 spot on the 2021 Best Colleges for Men’s Basketball in Illinois ranking. Dominican University is a small private not-for-profit school located in River Forest, Illinois that handed out 500 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

Speaking financially, the Men’s Basketball team at Dominican U took home $139,749 in revenue.

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#22

Quincy University

Quincy, Illinois

Quincy University came in at #22 in this year’s edition of the Best Colleges for Men’s Basketball in Illinois ranking. Quincy U is located in Quincy, Illinois and, has a small student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 218 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergraduates.

The Men’s Basketball team at Quincy U brought home $655,692 in revenue in a single year.

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#23

Aurora University

Aurora, Illinois

Aurora University did quite well in the 2021 Best Colleges for Men’s Basketball in Illinois ranking, coming in at #23. Aurora is located in Aurora, Illinois and, has a medium-sized student population. In 2018-2019, this school awarded 1,138 bachelor’s degrees to qualified undergraduates.

The team at Aurora took home $205,149 in revenue and paid out $202,636 in expenses in recent times. That boils down to a yearly profit of $2,513 for the sports team.

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#24

Western Illinois University

Macomb, Illinois

Western Illinois University did quite well in the 2021 Best Colleges for Men’s Basketball in Illinois ranking, coming in at #24. WIU is a medium-sized public school situated in Macomb, Illinois. It awarded 1,785 bachelor’s degrees in 2018-2019.

The Men’s Basketball team at WIU brought home $1,190,756 in revenue in a single year. The team members aren’t slouches in the classroom either, since the team academic progress rate is an excellent 995.

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#25

University of Illinois at Springfield

Springfield, Illinois

University of Illinois at Springfield landed the #25 spot on the 2021 Best Colleges for Men’s Basketball in Illinois ranking. Springfield, Illinois is the setting for this small institution of higher learning. The public school handed out bachelor’s degrees to 680 students in 2018-2019.

The Men’s Basketball team at UIS brought home $428,017 in revenue in a single year.

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Best Colleges for Men's Basketball in the Great Lakes Region

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Notes and References

Footnotes

*Avg Tuition and Fees and Avg 4-Year Grad Rate are for the top 25 schools only.

References

  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of our data about colleges.
  • Revenue and expense information comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s Equity in Athletics Data Analysis (EADA) website.
  • The academic progress rate (APR) of each team was made available by the NCAA.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).
  • Information about the national average student loan default rate is from the U.S. Department of Education and refers to data about the 2016 borrower cohort tracking period for which the cohort default rate (CDR) was 10.1%.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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