Illini Basketball Game Preview, Prediction vs Indiana Hoosiers

illini basketball state farm center

Sunday afternoon brings a match-up of two teams that are coming off their in-state rivalry games Thursday night when the Indiana Hoosiers visit the Illinois Fighting Illini. Check out college basketball expert picks to see who may win this matchup. For Indiana, they fell way behind early, clawed back into it at Purdue, but ultimately fell short in a game that was so utterly ugly, well there no true real winners.

Purdue played pretty bad, but IU was just that much worse, and now they have lost seven straight in the Crossroads El Classico rivalry. Illinois won comfortably, but never truly stepped on the throat of Northwestern. Many expected this basketball version of the Land of Lincoln trophy game to be more lopsided than it was, but at the end of the day, the Cats were not a true threat to the Illini.

[Read more…]

Illini Basketball: Who is the Team’s Third Piece?

And for the first time since 2010, Illini basketball will finish with a winning record in conference play. Illinois stomped Northwestern tonight 74-66, in a game in where they displayed a form that was far from their best (but plenty enough). A bonafide league title contender up until a couple weeks ago, they still have a really nice NCAA Tournament profile that resembles a #7 to #8 seed. For where this program has been in recent years, it’s a very welcome development and a nice surprise.

They also have a true big two in Ayo Dosnumu and Kofi Cockburn. The dynamic duo certainly have some NBA Draft stock, and may comprise the league’s best inside-outside combination. Ayo is the closer, and the team’s true alpha dog, but Cockburn isn’t far behind, and he can carry this team for long stretches, just like Dosunmu can. But who is the Illini third piece?

[Read more…]

Illini Basketball Game Preview, Prediction at Northwestern Wildcats

Heading into Thursday’s LOL Hat (basketball version) game, the main story line is tickets, and their egregiously high prices. Northwestern adopted a fan unfriendly pricing structure for single game tickets this season, and the price increase, coupled with the home team’s historically bad performance on the court, has resulted in the worst attendance of the Chris Collins era.

On the other side of the court, you have an Illini basketball team that has far surpassed expectations this season. That is driving up demand, as is the fact that Illinois took a hiatus from playing at the United Center this season. They were right to abandon the UC game this year, because the “crowds” they have been drawing to the venue in recent years were embarrassingly small. So increased demand, lowered supply, it’s economics 101. Plus, you have NU trying to make as much money as they can off the home game most likely to draw the biggest crowd (even if it’s all almost blue and orange).

[Read more…]

Ayo, Kofi Lead Illini Past Surprisingly Competitive Nebraska

The Illini got major production from their big two as they beat Nebraska 71-59 at home in a Big Ten Conference match up Monday night in Champaign, Ill. Ayo Dosunmu scored 18 points, to go along with Kofi Cockburn’s 15 points and 10 rebounds as Illinois won its second straight after having lost four straight.

Alan Griffin came off the bench to score 13 while Andres Feliz and Trent Frazier both added 11 to help the Illini improve their home record to 13-3 and conference mark to 10-6. in Big Ten ranking. The Illini are now a part of a five way tie for second place in the league, and would be the #6 seed, due to tie-breaker consideration, if the Big Ten Tournament started today. Overall, it was a tense, scrappy game that included a lot of fouling.

[Read more…]

Patrick Ewing Theory: How Alumni Icon Can Lead Georgetown to NCAA Tournament

We apologize in advance for having zero Patrick Ewing quotes in this article on Georgetown’s NCAA Tournament chances. Ewing, one of the top college basketball picks of all time, appeared, very promptly, after his side lost 74-68 at DePaul Saturday night, and he accidentally knocked the table off the podium in the press conference room.

His entire session was only about 1:45 in duration and it consisted of just three Q&As. For what it’s worth, we have the full audio embedded for you below. As Bill Simmons wrote on page 413 of the Book of Basketball, “Ewing lacked charisma and may have been the most uncomfortable post merger interview other than Moses Malone.” That sentence seems fair.

[Read more…]

DePaul SG Jalen Coleman-Lands on Past, Present and Basketball Future (Exclusive)

In a tight road loss to Georgetown on February 8, DePaul senior shooting guard Jalen Coleman-Lands eclipsed the 1,000 point plateau in his college career. Prior to tip-off of the Blue Demons’ blowout loss to #12 Villanova on Wednesday night, Coleman-Lands was honored with a brief ceremony commemorating the achievement.

DePaul Athletic Director Jean Lenti-Ponsetto and Head Coach Dave Leitao took part. “When you achieve a goal like that, you leave an indelible mark on this game that you’ve played for a long, long time,” Leitao said after the game.

[Read more…]

DePaul Basketball Season Metrics, Rankings, Postseason Prospects

From a 12-1 non-conference record to a now 1-12 league mark, DePaul basketball is now back to square one. Tonight was just plain ugly, as the Blue Demons were out of contention very early on at home against #12 Villanova, who finished the evening 18-for-26 from three-point range, en route to a 91-71 victory.

Wildcats coach Jay Wright credited rebounding (and of course shooting) as the difference in this one, as his team led by as much as 31. It was a stark contrast from the reverse fixture, where the Demons took Nova to overtime, before falling in Philadelphia. At this point, it seems like a fourth straight season of finishing last or tied for last in the Big East is in the cards.

[Read more…]

Kentucky Basketball: Updated Postseason Resume and Projections

With a 79-76 win at LSU last night, Kentucky basketball has the inside track to winning their first SEC title since completing their conference championship three-peat from 2015-17. The Wildcats are now 1.5 games up on Auburn in the conference standings, two games ahead of Florida and LSU.

They also have three games left against the top league title contenders so they won’t really need any help in order to close the conference title deal and restore their SEC complete hegemony. Of course, it won’t be easy, to say the least.

[Read more…]

Juwan Howard Has Happy Chicago Homecoming

Chicago native and first year Michigan Wolverines head coach Juwan Howard said it was a “great feeling” to see all the maize and blue in Welsh-Ryan Arena last night when his team demolished the Northwestern Wildcats 78-54.

The Chicago Vocational School grad flew in, led his team to a very lopsided victory and flew out just as NBA All-Star Game weekend festivities get going. Howard said it was awesome to see Dikembe Mutumbo, who he described as one of one of his all-time favorite former teammates, and other close friends and family behind the bench in the stands last night.

[Read more…]

Ayo Dosunmu Injury Could Change Course of Illini Basketball Season

ayo-dosunmu

Last night, in what was essentially a replay of the loss to Miami in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge (or the home loss to Maryland two seasons ago), Illinois lost 70-69 to Michigan State. The game result was a gut punch, but what happened in its final moments could completely alter the course of the Illini basketball season.

Ayo Dosunmu suffered a leg injury and had to be carried off the court. Any time you can’t walk on your own volition it’s bad, but as of now we have official confirmation that the extent of the injury is not that bad. Take a look at the video of the non-contact injury from last night just ICYMI:

[Read more…]

Northwestern Basketball: When Does Chris Collins’ Seat Warm?

northwestern basketball

Did you see the Northwestern basketball game last night? Did their blowing an 18 point lead and losing surprise you? Well, you haven’t been paying attention (and judging by the attendance figures most of you are not) this season. 2019-20 Northwestern basketball is to blowing seemingly insurmountable leads what Taylor Swift is to failed relationships and writing numerous songs about them.

On one hand, Northwestern basketball is in a very different place than it was three years ago this month. They now have the NCAA Tournament drought monkey off their back, top notch facilities and a world class venue for home games.

[Read more…]

Illini Basketball: Finally Bonafide League Title Contenders Again

bruce weber

“For one brief shining moment, there was Camelot” for Illini basketball fans…kind of. From 2002-06, Illinois let the entire nation in wins. From 2001-06, the program finished in the top two in the Big Ten every single season.

Up until this month, this golden era of sorts felt an ancient history, as they haven’t finished higher than fourth since then. The Illini basketball program has actually finished 7th or lower nine times since the halcyon days of Dee Brown, Bruce Weber and company. Recapping that period is relevant now though as Illinois currently sits tied with Michigan State atop the league standings at 8-3.

[Read more…]