Illini coach wants focus on Badgers, not standings -

Illini coach wants focus on Badgers, not standings

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) -- Illinois basketball coach Bruce Weber says his phone went crazy Wednesday with text messages when Northwestern knocked off No. 7 Michigan State.

The win kept the 25th-ranked Illini, who are 4-2 in the Big Ten (and 16-3 overall) within a game of the 5-1 Spartans.

That's great, Weber told reporters Thursday. But he plans to talk to his players about turning their focus from the Big Ten standings to their next game.

The Illini host Wisconsin (12-6, 3-3) Saturday at home.

The Badgers are back in the Big Ten pack and have lost three in a row. But they've won five straight against Illinois.

Weber says the Badgers will be fighting to save their conference season, making it a bad time to play Wisconsin.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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