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Illinois Basketball to play Final Four Team



Illinois Basketball Makes Top 8 for Top 2024 Wing.
Feb 26, 2023; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini forward Matthew Mayer (24) and forward Ty Rodgers (20) and guard Sencire Harris (1) and forward Coleman Hawkins (33) during the second half against the Ohio State Buckeyes at Value City Arena. Mandatory Credit: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Illinois Basketball to play Final Four Team

On early Friday, Jon Rothstein reported that Illinois Basketball is finalizing a deal to play Florida Atlantic at Madison Square Garden as part of the Jimmy V Classic. Both teams are a part of Rothstein’s top 20 teams. Florida Atlantic most recently made a cinderella run to the Final Four. The Owls were one possession away from an appearance in the national championship, however San Diego State took the game at the buzzer. This will be a solid test for the Illini as they return to Madison Square Garden to hopefully relive some joy. Last season, Illinois impressively beat Texas in a thriller of a game. They have also beaten a ranked Maryland team at the Garden back in the 2018-19 season.

A revenge game?

Remember that putrid game that Illinois basketball played against FAU in 2018? I was hoping to forget about that game, however this will be the chance for revenge! Illinois dropped that game at home against the Owls in the midst of Kofi Cockburn’s official visit. Kofi kindly decided that losing to FAU in horrible fashion at home would not deter him from Champaign. Ever since then, both teams have gone on to have success. Illinois Basketball has had a remarkable stretch of four years since that season, and is projected as a top 25 team by most.

FAU has now found life, and has upgraded their conference to the American Athletic Conference. They have also locked down their coach, Dusty May. May was considered as a prime option for many coaching vacancies and is viewed as a young star in the profession. Despite this, he decided to remain put with Florida Atlantic.

Until then?

Illinois continues to finalize their schedule. They will be playing Marquette in another hope for revenge as part of the Gavitt Games. Brad Underwood continues to schedule tough non-conference opponents. They additionally will play Tennessee in a home and home. The Vols currently project as a top 5 team.

They also will play a tough and reinvigorated Missouri squad for the annual Bragging Rights game. Illinois seems to have their roster finalized with their scholarships, however questions persist. Will all of their transfer portal adds make it to campus? What is the deal with Jeremiah Williams given that he likely will not be medically cleared by the start of the season?

Questions about this roster persist, however the schedule does not lighten up. Illinois and their squad must be ready.

Alex is the Owner of, your go-to source for in depth coverage of the Illinois Fighting Illini. Alex is also the lead content creator and lead editor of all articles on Armchair Illini. He has had articles featured in top media publications like Bleacher Report, YardBarker, Verbal Commits, CBS Sports and more.