Illinois basketball looks to stake their claim to a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament by trying to avoid an upset bid from Michigan State basketball.
We’ve officially reached crunch time in the college basketball regular season with plenty of games this week featuring NCAA Tournament hopefuls squaring off with everything on the line. One such matchup is set for tonight in East Lansing as Illinois looks to avoid an upset attempt at the hands of Michigan State.
The Fighting Illini are well on their way to a top-two seed in the NCAA Tournament and are trying to state their case for a place alongside fellow Big Ten power Michigan on the top line. Saturday’s demolition of Minnesota at Williams Arena was a quality result for Illinois, which became just the second team to top the Golden Gophers in their own building.
Ayo Dosunmu was the star for Illinois, delivering a triple-double in the victory over Minnesota, marking the seventh straight win for the Illini. Keeping that win streak going could be a challenge against a dangerous Michigan State team fighting for its bubble lives.
The Spartans got off the mat in dramatic fashion on Saturday, toppling Indiana in a critical road game to add a third Quadrant I victory to their resume. Aaron Henry played the full 40 minutes and carried the team, scoring a team-high 27 points to power Michigan State to victory.
The key to this game will be to see if the Spartans can find a way to contain Illinois forward Kofi Cockburn, who can dominate against a weaker interior than Tom Izzo is used to having in the Big Ten. Cockburn’s impact on this game will tell a lot about how it ultimately plays out for Michigan State, which needs to start stacking quality wins to get into the bubble mix over the season’s final weeks.
How to bet and watch Illinois at Michigan State
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