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Illinois Basketball Preparing for “Unique” Situation

Brad Underwood is Preparing Illinois basketball for what certainly will be a unique process for the Big Ten tournament



Illinois Basketball Finalizing Agreement to Play Blue Blood Program

Illinois Basketball Preparing for “Unique” Situation

Brad Underwood is Preparing Illinois basketball for what certainly will be a unique process for the Big Ten tournament. The Fighting Illini find themselves as the #2 seed, and now the waiting game comes into play. Two possible scenarios are presented to Illinois. Face #7-seeded Iowa, who you just played, and have beaten twice this season. Certainly, however, we all know how hard it is to beat a team that third time. Or, Illinois faces #10-seeded Ohio State.  Who, has struggled in 2024, and fired head coach Chris Holtmann. However, the Buckeyes are fired up under interim coach Jake Diebler. They have won 5 of their last 6 games, including Purdue. Two teams clawing on the NCAA bubble, as well as needing multiple wins to be in the discussion. Illinois does hold a 3-0 record against these teams in 2024, however, March is March.

Underwood’s Comments

In his Wednesday media availability, Underwood spoke on how Illinois plans to handle the process of the “Unknown.”  How does Illinois prepare for a “To be determined” opponent?

“Kind of a Unique situation where we don’t know our opponent. So, we aren’t talking about anybody specifically.” says the Illinois Basketball leader. “We do know it’s Iowa, who we’ve seen a couple of times here over 14 days. Or, Ohio State who is playing awfully well.” Says Underwood. “We’ll cover a little bit of both of them in practice, and then see what we’ve got.”

Later in his presser, Underwood followed up on his comments about preparation for the Unknown, after a question from Joey Wagner. “We are obviously pretty familiar with Iowa. We played Ohio State a few weeks ago, and they are doing a few things differently” says Underwood. “We’ll get after it pretty good today, but mainly our stuff. We will experiment with a wrinkle or two that’s new that we might need for postseason play.”

When will we know?

The Hawkeyes and Buckeyes are set to tip off at 5:30 pm CT in Minneapolis. The winner of this game will determine Illinois next opponent on Friday. Tune in to this one, as it will be interesting to see the way this scenario shakes out.

The winner will have to turn around exactly 24 hours later, and tip off vs #2 seeded Illinois. Fatigue can certainly be a major factor for whoever comes out on top. This game wont be any punk either. Two historically great basketball programs, with a  lot to play for, and chips on each shoulder. This one could turn out to be a typical March nailbiter, which, bodes well for Illinois Basketball. Exhaustion can set in, but that certainly wont be counted on.  It wont be easy to turn around and beat Illinois a day later. However, as Underwood a stated in his presser, these are college kids. Young, healthy, and athletic young men that can endure a ton of wear and tear. No matter the outcome, it wont be easy, for Illinois. March is March, and Illinois does not want to be on the short end of the madness…..


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Kirkland is a go-to source for Illinois athletics news. He is the lead Football analyst at Armchair Illini and has been featured in top media publications like Bleacher Report, Yard Barker, Autograph, Newsbreak, CBS Sports and more.