The Fighting Illini are all set to visit the Michigan Spartans. With aims to keep climbing up stands, Illinois is now prepared to hand Michigan State their second defeat of the season.
The Fighting Illini have truly attempted to get back the lead spots of the Big Ten Conference. Illinois is now marching as the third overall seed of the Big Ten, right behind Purdue and Wisconsin.
To remain at the top, the Fighting Illini depends on more consistent wins. The team is now 3-2 in the last five games, and they seem to be looking for a way to reach top league seeds.
For the Spartans, the story is a bit different. Michigan State is now in the sixth spot of the Big Ten conference, and the climb is way steeper.
The Spartans are now 2-3 in their last five games. If they wish to continue fighting for top Big Ten stands, the team will need to step it up and face top conference seeds. The Fighting Illini might be the perfect start, yet a win over Illinois will not come easy.
The Fighting Illini have already pulled a win over Wisconsin and Michigan. The team is more than ready to aim for a quick climb that might just place them right behind top conference seed Purdue.
To do so, Illinois won’t have to look far and recall their 56-55 win over Michigan State back on January 25. Trent Frazier continues to lead the team with four assists and 1.4 steals per game.
Yet, it’s Kofi Cockburn who has truly stepped up to lead the Fighting Illini by nailing 21.4 points and 11.3 rebounds per game. The Fighting Illini not only have the men on the court, yet a past winning record to back them up for today’s matchup over Spartans.
The Fighting Illini may have pulled out a win over the Spartans almost a month ago. Still, it was a tight score, and Michigan State is not ready to let another win over Illinois slip away at this point in the season.
Gabe Brown continues to lead the Spartans with 12.1 points. Yet, it’s been strategic players like A.J. Hoggard and Marcus Birmingham Jr. who have stood out over the last games. On the defensive end, Birmingham Jr. has also led the team with 6.2 rebounds and 2.4 blocks per game.
On paper, the Spartans have all it takes to surpass the Fighting Illini. If the team wishes to remain in the race for higher conference stands, they need to rush and consider a win over Illinois as the first step of this last-minute dash.
The Fighting Illini might have their chance to reach the top of the conference, yet the Spartans are now with an advantage. For Illinois, the total has gone under in five of their last seven games.
As for Michigan State, the total has gone over in eight of their last 12 games over Illinois.
The Fighting Illini now have an 11-4 record in conference games. Illinois is now just one win away from tying top seed, Purdue. For the first time in the season, Illinois might give a clear path to the top.
As for the Spartans, a 9-5 record over conference games might be relegating the team to keep fighting, yet on tighter odds to make it to the top of the stands.
With home advantage to take a revenge win over Illinois, Michigan State might get its chance to even out their balance over the Fighting Illini.