Duke's lopsided loss to Miami earlier in the week opened the door for a new No. 1 when the AP poll comes out Monday -- and Michigan put itself in position to take the top spot.
Glenn Robinson III scored 14 points for the Wolverines (19-1, 6-1 Big Ten). Nik Stauskas and Tim Hardaway Jr. added 12 each. Brandon Paul led Illinois (15-6, 2-5) with 15 points but had five of Illinois' 15 costly turnovers.
Michigan's Jordan Morgan did not return after leaving early with an apparent ankle injury.