Three MLB Draft Prospects to Watch on the 2022 Illinois Fighting Illini

The Major League Baseball draft will be July 17th-19th, and as it stands right now, there aren’t any true, sure-fire first round prospects in the Big Ten. Not that MLB mock drafts are gospel by any means, but when you take a look at them, all you see projected in the first round are SEC and high school players.

That makes sense for the Big Ten, as the league is having a down year. Maryland is the only sure fire NCAA Tournament team in the conference, although Rutgers should likely get in too.

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Illini Baseball Must Win Big Ten Tournament to Reach NCAAs

On the whole, 2022 Illini baseball ended up being a better team than what many expected them to be. Pitching was up and down, as was expected given who and what they lost to the MLB Draft, but they can really hit the ball, and pound out runs. Yes, Illinois was rather mediocre in non-conference action this year, but they truly hit their stride in league play. At 17-7, they finished tied with Rutgers and Iowa for second place in the league.

The last time Illini baseball did this well in the Big Ten it was the famous 2015 champaign campaign. That year culminated in a Big Ten and NCAA Champaign Regional Championship, a school record 50 wins, and a school and Big Ten record 27 straight wins.

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Kofi Cockburn Leaves Illinois, Enters NBA Draft to Stay

Illinois center Kofi Cockburn, a consensus first-team All-American, announced two hours ago on social media that he will enter the NBA draft and forgo his remaining college eligibility. The 7-footer’s 7-4 wingspan, 9-3 standing reach and 285-pound frame make him a prospect for teams looking for a true, old school low post player. His 341 points scored “back to the basket” ranked second in the nation.

However, this doesn’t mean he’s a bonafide NBA Draft prospect by any means. We’ve covered his draft stock in detail already here, here and here.

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Skyy Clark: Illini Basketball Sign Highest Rated Recruit in Two Decades

Happy first day of the new signing period, Illini basketball fans. It got off with a bang, as Illinois inked five-star prospect Skyy Clark, their highest ranked recruit in two decades.

The one-time Kentucky commit, and #25 overall ranked player in the Class of 2022 by ESPN, #27 by 247Sports, #32 by On3 Consensus, and #35 by Rivals, is a 6-3, 200 lb point guard from Los Angeles, who is finishing his prep career at Montverde Academy (Fla.)

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Assessing Ayo Dosunmu NBA All-Rookie Team Prospects

The NBA Rookie of the Year derby is a two-horse race: Evan Mobley of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Scottie Barnes of the Toronto Raptors. Everyone else after that, including Ayo Dosunmu of the Chicago Bulls, is fighting for All-Rookie first team. Or maybe All-Rookie second team.

After Mobley and Barnes, the three next best NBA freshmen are Jalen Green of the Houston Rockets, Franz Wagner of the Orlando Magic and Cade Cunningham of the Detroit Pistons.

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Kendall Gill Exclusive Part 2/2: Illini Recruiting, March Madness Woes

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When current NBC Sports Chicago Analyst Kendall Gill left his alma mater, the University of Illinois, he was the seventh leading scorer in school history. He was a part of the Flyin’ Illini 1989 team, which earned a #1 seed and a Final Four berth. He was also a part of the 1987 team that lost in the first round, as a #3 seed, to #14 seed Austin Peay, in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

Today, Illini basketball is just like it was in Gill’s day- great during the regular season, especially so during Big Ten conference season, but often flopping in March Madness.

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Kendall Gill Exclusive: NBA Legend on Ayo Dosunmu, Chicago Bulls Prospects

The Chicago Bulls are minutes away from tipping off at Washington, set to take on the Wizards in the first of the seven games that they have left in the regular season. To analyze where they might be headed, down the home stretch of the season and into the postseason, we had an exclusive with Kendall Gill, NBA record holder and NBC Sports Chicago Analyst. Gill recently became an Ambassador for Points Bet USA, and we caught up with him to talk Bulls, Illini, Ayo Dosunmu and more.

“We’ve all been through some tests throughout the season, but I still have faith,” Gill said at the branded event this past Friday night in Chicago’s Wrigleyville neighborhood.

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Illini Basketball Set for Immediate Major Reset, Maybe that’s Good?

It wasn’t supposed to be like this, Illini basketball fans. No, it wasn’t supposed to be like this at all. For the second straight season, Illinois, not having to do any more than hold chalk, was supposed to be playing on the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament.

It’s weird how this program is so snakebit in the round of 32 (although Iowa would also like a word, when it comes to that), and the sweet sixteen and beyond drought rolls on for at least another year. Ditto for the Hawkeyes. Guess it’s time to turn the page.

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Illini Basketball: Past Bad Blood, Major Drama Populates their Bracket

At this point, I don’t think anyone really believes all the lip service that the NCAA Tournament broadcast partners gives to metrics, numbers and stats when it comes to how the bracket is constructed. Sure, things like Quad 1 wins, records versus the top teams and the NET standings do matter, but you know what trumps all that? Ratings. And you know how you get additional boosts in ratings? Narratives.

Yes, narratives are commonplace when the committee constructs the bracket, and the 2021-22 Illini basketball team has a lot of them present in their region of the bracket. What defines “narratives”? Well, think of a couple years ago, when Pitino the Elder and Pitino the Younger were matched in the same regional, or when they put Coach K. against one of his proteges.  Illini basketball are the No. 4 seed in the South region and will open their NCAA Tournament run against No. 13 seed Chattanooga (27-7) in the first round on Friday in Pittsburgh. If you’re betting, like you would at goldenslot, then you could get the Illini -8 as the point spread. Tip-off is 5:50 p.m. CT and will be televised on TNT.

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Man United=Kentucky, Real Madrid=Duke and Other European Football College Hoops Doppelgängers

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There are two sporting competitions, in tournament format that captivate us unlike any other this time of year: college basketball’s NCAA Tournament, also known as “March Madness,” and the UEFA Champions League. In late winter and early spring, sports fans all across the globe are transfixed by both tourneys. This week will see both March Madness and the UCL transpire, so it’s a whole sports buffet on tap right now. 

We root for our specific teams first and foremost, and then debate if we should support our primary rivals in our respective leagues/conferences as they take on the rest of the nation/Europe. Let’s say you’re a North Carolina/Liverpool supporter- do you show solidarity for the other ACC/English Premier League teams in the competition? 

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Illinois Fighting Illini NCAA Tournament History for Millenials

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Big Ten regular-season champions Illinois (22-9) earned a #4 seed in the South region of the NCAA Tournament, and where they’ll take on the #13 seed Chattanooga (27-7) in the first round on Friday in Pittsburgh. With the Illini substantial favorites in this one, as the spreads at Betway showing them backed -8. Tip off is 5:50 p.m. CT, or 6:50 local, with this first round game being carried by TNT.

The Illini are making their 32nd overall NCAA Tournament appearance, and second in a row following an 8-year drought. The Illini own an all-time NCAA Tournament record of 41-32.

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#16 Illini Basketball Big Ten Tournament Stats, Metrics, Preview

Your 2021-22 Illini basketball team are the Big Ten champions, sharing the conference crown with Wisconsin. Having beaten the Badgers head-to-head, Illinois heads to Indianapolis as the top overall seed in the Big Ten Tournament. This will be the fourth time Illini basketball team have played in the #B1GTourney as the top seed, and first since 2005.

If you want to know how to bet on March Madness online, then you got to do your due diligence. To know where you’re going, you must first look back on where you’ve been. The Illini are 6-2 all-time in the BTT as the #1 seed, 31-20 in the event overall and 14-10 in games played in Indy. They’ll get the winner of #8 Michigan-#9 Indiana in the quarterfinals on Friday.

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