Connect with us


Illinois Basketball: Sweet 16 Prediction vs Iowa State



Illinois Basketball Announces Watch Party for Sweet 16!
Mar 23, 2024; Omaha, NE, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini head coach Brad Underwood gestures after the game against the Duquesne Dukes of the second round of the 2024 NCAA Tournament at CHI Health Center Omaha. Mandatory Credit: Dylan Widger-USA TODAY Sports

Prediction: Illinois Basketball vs Iowa State

Illinois Basketball is just hours away from the most important game in the program’s recent history. Unfortunately, it has been an uncontested 18 years since Bruce Weber and the  05′ Orange and Blue made their legendary run to the National Championship. As of the posting of this article, the Illini are preparing for a “primetime” sweet sixteen game in Boston. Certainly a massive step forward for not only Brad Underwood as a coach but Illinois as a program. This team, the staff, and the fan base are pumped. However, as a wise Coleman Hawkins said, “The Job’s not finished,”


T.J. Otzelberger and his east 2-seed, Cyclones are the best best defensive team in the nation. Turnovers, blocked shots, and quickly closing shooting/driving lanes are a given with Iowa State. The million-dollar question remains, can Iowa State’s offense outscore Illinois? The bordering state rivals average 75.5 ppg, to Illinois near 85ppg (84.6). The scoring will happen. However, as we well know, it depends on which version Illinois defense shows up. The Illini seemed very locked in all week, and this team and staff have made it very clear that this is a business trip. Making a sweet sixteen is a massive deal for the moment for Illinois Basketball, but not the end game. The goals and dreams of this team are right there for the taking. Minimize the turnovers, acknowledge the inevitable frustration of playing the best defensive team in the nation, and play tough defense.

If Illinois handles that job, they will be competing for their first Elite 8 since the Dee Brown era. Illinois is hot, and I am taking the motivated team with the best players in the nation.

Final Prediction: 83-79 Illinois

Thank you for reading Armchair Illini. For more Illinois Athletics and Big Ten content from Armchair Illini, follow us on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram For feedback, questions, concerns, or to apply for a writing position, please email our Publisher at Please use our Seatgeek code for $20 off your purchase on ARMCHAIRILLINOIS. It is because of your support that we have become one of the fastest-growing Illinois media outlets around!

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.