Fighting Illini Look to Knock off the Wolverines
The Michigan Wolverines and the Illinois Fighting Illini will meet on Wednesday when they battle at State Farm Center. Both teams look to contend for the Big Ten Championship this year and this early season matchup should let us know where the programs are at.
TV: 9 p.m. ET, Big Ten Network; LINE: Illinois -1; O/U: 145
Michigan, who is the 7th ranked team in the nation, looks to continue its sizzling start under first-year coach Juwan Howard. The Wolverines have won eight of their first nine games under the former Fab Five star. That includes a pair of impressive victories against sixth-ranked Gonzaga and No. 16 North Carolina. Michigan hopes to post back-to-back wins in conference play following a 103-91 victory over Iowa on Friday.
Michigan has scored over 100 points twice this season for the first time since the 2015-16 seasons. The squad hopes for another hot shooting performance tonight to help them beat the Fighting Illini for the fifth consecutive game.
Illinois is left to pick up the pieces and they hope the players memory is short. The Fighting Illini let a double-digit lead in the second half slip away in a 59-58 loss to fourth-ranked Maryland on Saturday. The Illini were up by as many as 15 points before failing to make a shot from the field in the final 5:05 of the game. Illinois suffered back-to-back losses by a combined three points following an 81-79 loss to Miami (Fla.) on Dec. 2nd. “It does hurt but the great thing about it is you get another chance do it,” Illinois guard Ayo Dosunmu told reporters. “We’ve got another chance to do it at home and make up for this one.”
This, That, and a Dart Throw
Michigan was a 103-91 winner in their most recent outing at home against Hawkeyes. They covered the -7-point spread as favorites.
Michigan is 8-1 on the season overall and 1-0 in the Big Ten. Franz Wagner missed the first four games of the season with a wrist injury and shot 9-of-10 from the free-throw line in his return to the court. That was en route to a career-high 18 points. He led six players in double figures against Iowa. Jon Teske scored 16 points on 7-of-9 shooting. He also added five rebounds and four blocked shots to take his season total to 22, which leads the team. Zavier Simpson added 16 points, seven assists and six rebounds for the Wolverines. Isaiah Livers, who leads the team in scoring this season, chipped in 14 points and six rebounds. The Wolverines improved to 103-4 all-time when scoring 100 points or more.
The Fighting Illini are 6-3 overall and 0-1 in the Big Ten. Kofi Cockburn was named the Big Ten Freshman of the Week for the third time this season. He earned the award by averaging 16 points and six rebounds in the tight losses to Miami and Maryland. He shot 12 of 15 from the floor. Trent Frazier scored a team-high 13 points and Andres Feliz added 11 points and five rebounds against Maryland. The Fighting Illini were outscored 34-19 by the Terrapins in the second half to see their upset bid fall short.
“That one was hard I’m not going to lie,” Illinois coach Brad Underwood told reporters. “It would have been nice to walk out with a win … but I like where we’re at and the progression was there so I think our guys have something they can believe in.”
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The Dart Throw: Michigan 72, Illinois 67
College Hoops Trends
Illinois Fighting Illini
- Trend Over is 8-2 in Fighting Illini last 10 games as a home favorite of 7.0-12.5. Hit % 80.00% (10) O/U 8|2 Push 0 W/L
- Over is 5-0 in Fighting Illini last 5 games as a home favorite of 0.5-6.5. 100.00% (5) 5|0 0
- Under is 38-17-2 in Fighting Illini last 57 games as a favorite of 13.0 or greater. 69.10% (57) 17|38 2
- Under is 7-0 in Fighting Illini last 7 games as an underdog of 13.0 or greater. 100.00% (7) 0|7 0
- Trend Under is 6-1 in Wolverines last 7 games as a road favorite of 0.5-6.5. Hit % 85.70% (7) O/U 1|6 Push 0 W/L
- Under is 8-1 in Wolverines last 9 games as a road underdog of 13.0 or greater. 88.90% (9) 1|8 0
- Over is 4-1 in Wolverines last 5 games as a favorite of 13.0 or greater. 80.00% (5) 17|38 2
- Under is 8-1 in Wolverines last 9 games as an underdog of 13.0 or greater. 88.90% (9) 0|7 0
Michigan vs Illinois H2H Meetings Trends
- Trend Favorite is 3-0-1 ATS in the last 4 meetings. Hit % 100.00% (4) O/U Push 1 W/L 3|0
- Home team is 3-1-1 ATS in the last 5 meetings. 75.00% (5) 1 3|1
Stats brought to you by Scores&Stats
Michigan home to Oregon Saturday, December 14
Illinois home to Old Dominion Saturday, December 14
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