Michigan State Basketball Rules the B1G, Purdue is Solid, the Rest is Meh

michigan-state-basketball-spartans

This current Michigan State basketball team is the class of the B1G, and there is a substantial drop-off below the Spartans. The Purdue Boilermakers were able to shake off a couple bad performances in the Bahamas over Thanksgiving weekend, and now they look very solid.

Then, once again, there’s a massive drop-off to the rest of the league. It’s MSU, Purdue and then just a bunch of guys. Some of those guys are better than the others, but there is no squad that is must see other than the Purdue and Michigan State basketball teams.

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Illini Football Could Remain at Kansas Jayhawks Level Depths for Awhile

lovie smith

There’s no way to sugarcoat this: Illini football is Kansas Jayhawks level bad; plain and simple.

There’s no reason or rationale for euphemisms or spin anymore, these two programs are mirror images of each other, and they have now “established” themselves as the two worst bottom feeders of the power five conferences.

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Illini Basketball: Path to NCAA Tournament After Braggin’ Rights Win

Now that Illini basketball has its first quality win of the season, a 70-64 decision over Mizzou, perhaps they can build on this now moving forward. The Missouri Tigers aren’t nationally ranked, but they came into this game with a RPI of 7 and a SoS of 11. Illinois entered the evening with RPI 188 and SoS 197.

So obviously, there’s a lot of work to do, just to be in contention for any kind of postseason tournament at all. In the Illini basketball program, the NCAA Tournament is absolutely the only tournament that matters, and it’s obvious that they will need a very strong conference showing in order to be in contention.

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Jeremiah Tilmon a Possible One and Done, Brad Underwood Believes

jeremiah-tilmon

If there’s one specific player who is made for the annual Braggin’ Rights game in St. Louis, it’s certainly Missouri Center Jeremiah Tilmon. The Mizzou big man hails from the area, as he played his high school ball at East Saint Louis.

After a substantial amount of vacillating, he signed a letter of intent to play at Illinois, but then backed out of it once Illinois and Mizzou made their head coaching changes. Pretty soon, he’ll be a guy who’s made for NBA mock drafts as well.

Ahead of the annual Braggin’ Rights contest (won by Illinois 70-64) Illini basketball coach Brad Underwood had a lot of high praise for Tilmon.

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Illini Basketball: Braggin’ Rights Game Preview vs Missouri Tigers

mizzou illini basketball braggin rights

How bad does Illini basketball need this win over the Missouri Tigers in the annual Braggin’ Rights game?

We’ll put it this way-

by the time they take the court against Mizzou it will have been 297 days since Illinois has beaten a Power 5 conference opponent in either men’s basketball or football. The last time we saw an Illini team achieve a victory of this designation, in either of the two revenue sports, it was way back on March 1st.

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Illini Basketball: Lou Henson Hospitalized, Won’t Attend Testimonial Game

nick anderson illini basketball lou henson

Update, 12-15-17, via Illini basketball Sports Information Department:

“Former Illinois basketball coach Lou Henson was hospitalized early Thursday. Henson, who was planning to attend the Illinois-New Mexico State basketball game in Chicago Saturday along with nearly 40 family members, will remain in Champaign and not be present for the game. Henson, who has been battling cancer-related health issues for 14 years, is the all-time wins leader at both Illinois and New Mexico State and was set to be honored before and during the game Saturday at the United Center.”

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Illini Basketball: Leading Scorer Leron Black Elbow Injury Update

leron black

Illinois coach Brad Underwood said way back at Illini basketball media day that in order for his team to be special, power forward Leron Black had to be the best that he could be this season. Black came to Champaign as a highly heralded recruit, registering as high at #37 nationally by some services.

This non-conference season is the first time that we’ve seen the junior start to truly realize the potential. Black, who averages a team leading 14.8 points per game, saw his career-long active streak of seven-straight games scoring in double figures come to an end last night in the 89-82 Illini basketball loss at UNLV. 

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Purdue, Illini, Northwestern Give Mixed Opinions on Early, Congested B1G Schedule

purdue hoops

The B1G schedule is disjointed and disoriented this season, beginning and ending earlier than ever before in modern history. We asked the head coaches and a couple players from the three B1G teams closest to home here (Chicago): #21 Purdue Boilermakers, Illinois Fighting Illini and Northwestern Wildcats.

The schedule is so tightly congested on the calendar that it leaves many of us physically congested, because those involved are so worn down from the workload, with quick turnarounds, all taking place inside the perfect breeding ground for germs during flu season.

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Matt Painter Reflects on Historical Coaching Carousel that Established Him

matt painter

Purdue basketball coach Matt Painter reflected this week on being a part of the biggest coaching carousel in the history of college basketball.

“Sometimes the world flips around differently, and you get opportunities,” Painter said about the 2003 coaching changes that had numerous ripple effects beyond several high major and mid major programs.

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Illini Basketball Should Start Aaron Jordan, Effective Immediately

aaron jordan

The 6-0 start that Illini basketball got off to this season masked a lot of the issues that the team has. Junior guard Aaron Jordan is certainly not one of them. He entered the heart-breaking 72-68 OT loss to Northwestern at AllState Arena leading the NCAA in 3-point shooting at 65.5 percent (19-29).

Jordan also came into the game ranked eighth nationally in kenpom offensive rating at 149.6. He also came in to this one fifth in the Big Ten in field goal shooting at 63.6 percent, and fourth on the team in rebounding (4.4 rpg).

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Northwestern Hosts Illini Basketball: Four Things to Watch

illini deron williams

Northwestern and Illini basketball will square off just once this season, therefore making the lone meeting all the more meaningful. To add to the significance, the game will take place at the exact same venue that brought the most glorious moment in modern Illini basketball history.

Yes, NU’s temporary home is AllState Arena, where the famed “Miracle on Mannheim” occurred on March 26, 2005. The Illini, ostensibly left for dead in an Elite 8 game against Arizona, battled their way back from what seemed like an insurmountable deficit to force overtime and eventually win, punching their ticket to the Final Four.

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#23 Northwestern Wildcats at Illini Football Game Preview, Prediction

land-of-lincoln-illini-northwestern

Illini football welcomes their in-state rival, the 23rd-ranked Northwestern Wildcats, to Memorial Stadium on Saturday to close out what has been an utterly disastrous season. It’s the battle for the Land of Lincoln Trophy (3 pm CT, FS1) and the final game for 10 Illinois seniors. Yes, just ten seniors, as the Illini are one of the youngest teams in the nation, and arguably the youngest in school history.

Northwestern comes in heavily favored, by 16.5 points actually, to pick up win number nine on the season. If NU then wins their bowl game, they would finish with ten wins on the season, which would tie a school record set on three previous occasions (1995, 2012, 2015).

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