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Ranking Illinois Basketball Performances at the Kohl Center

For as long as most could remember, Michigan and Wisconsin were two teams that always had the Illini’s number during the John Groce and Bruce Weber era. Though Michigan and Wisconsin have both had changes with their head coaches, Brad Underwood has successfully dominated both of these schools thus far.

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Ranking Individual Illinois Basketball Performances at the Kohl Center
Mar 2, 2024; Madison, Wisconsin, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini forward Marcus Domask (3) celebrates the Illinois Fighting Illini 91-83 win over the Wisconsin Badgers at the Kohl Center. Mandatory Credit: Kayla Wolf-USA TODAY Sports

Ranking Individual Illinois Basketball Performances at the Kohl Center

Brad Underwood has done an outstanding job of reversing trends while at the University of Illinois. For as long as most could remember, Michigan and Wisconsin were two teams that always had the Illini’s number during the John Groce and Bruce Weber era. Though Michigan and Wisconsin have both had changes with their head coaches, Brad Underwood has successfully dominated both of these schools thus far. As a 2017 graduate, a game at the Kohl Center used to spell an automatic loss.

Illinois Basketball has now won four straight games at the Kohl Center. Each win has been led by an outstanding individual performance on top of a great team effort.

3) Matthew Mayer

Though most would like to forget the 2022-2023 season, Illinois picked up a very much-needed win at Wisconsin last year. This was led by Matthew Mayer. The eccentric and frustrating forward scored 26 points including five three-pointers. If you can recall, the first half was probably the complete opposite of an Illinois basketball game this year. At the half, Illinois led Wisconsin 20-16.

Nowadays, that scoreline is achieved within the first 10 minutes of the half.

2) Marcus Domask

Now this is where it got difficult. I think Marcus Domask had the most impressive individual performance out of the three. However, I explain why Ayo Dosunmu gets the edge in just a bit. This does not discount Domask’s incredible homecoming performance. Domask dominated the second half of this game and looked as good as he did at Madison Square Garden vs FAU. The Wisconsin native scored an incredible 31 points on an efficient 12-21 shooting night. Marcus was unstoppable and Greg Gard continued to cover Domask with single coverage.

1) Ayo Dosunmu

Ayo Dosunmu had a decent night. 18 points and 6 assists was like a normal night for the Illinois Basketball legend. However, the shot was what earned Dosunmu the top spot here. It was at this point that Illinois Basketball officially started its ascension to where it is now. They needed that marquee win and Dosunmu was the one to deliver. After this win, Illinois broke the long streak of losing to Wisconsin. Dosunmu’s shot won the game, but also successfully thwarted the “house of horrors” nickname for the Kohl Center.

 



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