Connect with us


The 3 Biggest Villains in Illini Fandom



Nov 11, 2022; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Michigan Wolverines center Hunter Dickinson (1) celebrates during the second half against the Eastern Michigan Eagles at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

We talked a few weeks ago about the most annoying teams to lose to. Today, we talk about the biggest individual Villains in Illini fandom.

If you have gotten to know me and the tweets I send out, you quickly learn that I am not a hateful individual. Though I poke fun and make mindless jokes, I ultimately do not like to trash talk. This goes for other schools too. Ultimately, I like to enjoy the sport and stay away from insulting 18-22 year olds. However, in Illini fandom, there are a couple individuals that just seem to rile up the fanbase. These individuals are the main catalysts behind the dislike of the other programs in college basketball.

Honorable mentions: The Graduates

Before we get into the list, I had to cover some of players that have graduated. Players such as Ethan Happ, Brad Davison and Jordan Bohannon are all players that come to mind for different reasons. Ethan Happ was that player that was at his school for 40 years and just always seem to kick our rear ends. Additionally, he was an Illinois native. At a time when Wisconsin was dominating John Groce squads that desperately lacked a big man, Ethan Happ consistently reminded Illinois of how miserable they were at the time.

Brad Davison was also at Wisconsin for an eternity, however his dirty antics and scrappy play always got under the skin of every non-Wisconsin fan. Davison struggled heavily once Underwood took over quite honestly, but his personality always drew the loudest boos from the Orange Krush. Jordan Bohannon also played at Iowa for a decade, and always had the wrong thing to say on social media. Bohannon also struggled once Underwood took over. To be honest, we have to thank Trent Frazier for forcing these two guards into shooting struggles against Illinois

3)Trayce Jackson Davis

At the beginning of the year, TJD would not have been at this spot. Kofi Cockburn is the main reason for that as he personally dominated this matchup. However, Indiana has won its past 3 meetings against the Illini. TJD has averaged 27.3/9/3.3 with 3 blocks on a ridiculous 71% field goal percentage. That is pure dominance. Given that Indiana has been doing quite well in the Mike Woodson era, the hate for Indiana has resumed. The Hoosiers are just a team that you want to root against. The hate is difficult to explain, but TJD is the villain in this pseudo-rivalry.

2) Connor McCaffery

To be honest, Connor has not had much impact on any of the games vs Illinois in a statistical point of view. However, the guy has literally been in college basketball since the first Bush era. Who could ever forget his postgame comments after they beat Illinois in 2020, and the legendary square-up with Da’Monte Williams? Illinois and their fans hate the Iowa Hawkeyes, but the hate intensifies simply because of the last name “McCaffery”. Fran’s antics has drawn the ire of the Orange Krush, hence seeing his son on the floor only adds fuel to the fire.

McCaffery has drawn the villain status for the same reasons that Jordan Bohannon did. However, I do think that this is Connor’s last year in college basketball.

1) Biggest Villain in Illini Fandom: Hunter Dickinson

This is the obvious one. Since Juwan Howard started at Michigan, Illinois has finally made its way back to the relevant corner of the conference. Due to the activity of both fanbases on Twitter, the two fanbases have grown to actively hate each other. The COVID year was the ultimate fuel to the fire of hatred, as Michigan was smacked by an Ayo Dosunmu-less Illini team and was subsequently given sole ownership of the regular season title. Afterwards, Hunter Dickinson’s outspoken and confident nature started blooming on social media. After multiple public comments about his disdain for Illinois fans, he rightfully sits atop the Villain list.


Dickinson is a skilled player, however he has all the makings of a villain. He likes to talk trash and speak his mind both on and off the court, and his fanbase’s behavior makes him hated by all Illini fans. Dickinson travels to Champaign this Thursday for what I believe is a must win for both teams. I expect the Orange Krush to be all over the Michigan big man from start to finish. To be honest, I do feel like Dickinson is due for a win against Illinois. With the way that Illinois has performed against “rivals” this year, I am admittedly a bit worried.

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.