NCAA Talk

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Final Four preview live from Loyola's Gentile Center

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USA TODAY

SportsTalk Live Podcast: Final Four preview live from Loyola's Gentile Center

SportsTalk Live is on location at Loyola’s Gentile Center as the Ramblers get ready to depart for the Final Four in San Antonio.

Kap is joined by Jeff Dickerson, Jordan Bernfield, athletic director Steve Watson, head coach Porter Moser and freshman guard Lucas Williamson.

Take a listen here or in the embedded player below.

Illinois all alone in first place in Big Ten following last-second win over Michigan

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USA TODAY

Illinois all alone in first place in Big Ten following last-second win over Michigan

One school stands alone atop the Big Ten men's basketball standings: Illinois 

Saturday, the Fighting Illini (7-2, 15-5) scored a big road win against Michigan (2-6, 11-8). Morgan Park alumnus Ayo Dosunmu drilled a heavily contested, last-second midrange jumper, giving the Illini a 64-62 win over the Wolverines.

Dosunmu finished the game with a career-high 27 points.

After a 1-2 start to Big Ten play, Illinois has rattled off six straight conference wins. They're a half game ahead of Michigan State (6-2, 14-5) for first place. Next up: a matchup with Minnesota (5-4, 11-8) on Thursday in Champaign.

 

Illinois men's basketball cracks AP poll for first time in more than five years

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USA TODAY

Illinois men's basketball cracks AP poll for first time in more than five years

Illinois basketball has not made the NCAA Tournament since 2013 and has endured losing records in three of the last four seasons. However, things are looking up for the Fighting Illini.

Three straight Big Ten wins have the Illini 4-2 in the league, good for second place and the No. 24 spot in the latest AP poll. It’s the first time the Illini have been ranked since Dec. 2014.


Coach Brad Underwood went 26-39 in his first two seasons in charge, but things have turned around this season. A win against Michigan on Dec. 11 gave the Illini a marquee win, but losses to Missouri and Michigan State followed soon after. The current three-game winning streak has featured a blowout win against Purdue, a one-point win at Wisconsin and a three-point win against a surprisingly good Rutgers team.

Illinois’ RPI is currently 42 so they’re far from a lock to get in the tournament, but the Illini are in good shape as of now. The last season the Illini were ranked, they had to settle for an NIT bid.

Chicago native and Morgan Park High School product Ayo Dosunmu leads the team with 15.5 points per game.