Big Ten Conference

Illini men's basketball welcomes Wolverines to Champaign for late-night Big Ten battle


25 Illinois welcomes a fellow Big Ten powerhouse in Michigan to State Farm Center on Friday night.


4 in the nation, the Wolverines have struggled and currently sit at 7-6 overall and are 1-2 in conference play, with the lone win being a 35-point blowout over Nebraska to open their Big Ten schedule.


The Illini also dealt with COVID issues earlier in the season, and head coach Brad Underwood knows the challenges of preparing for teams that have had extended time off.


In a conference with no shortage of dominant big men, the Wolverines boast 7-foot-1 sophomore center Hunter Dickinson, who was the Big Ten’s Freshman of the Year last season while also garnering All-Big Ten and All-America honors in his first college season.


Though the Illini got the better of the Wolverines in Ann Arbor last season, Underwood praised the play of both team’s big men – Dickinson and Illinois junior Kofi Cockburn – and knows it’ll be a dogfight again on Friday.


With the top recruiting class in the country in 2021, Michigan still poses a threat despite sitting below .500 in conference play, Underwood says.






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