NCAA Talk

UIC's Dikembe Dixon out for the season with torn ACL

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USA TODAY

UIC's Dikembe Dixon out for the season with torn ACL

UIC announced that star sophomore Dikembe Dixson is out for the rest of the season with a torn ACL.

The reigning Horizon League Freshman of the Year suffered the non-contact injury during the first half of UIC's huge road win at DePaul on Wednesday night.

“We’re all disappointed that Dikembe’s season has come to an end,” UIC head coach Steve McClain said in the release. “After he put together one of the best freshman seasons in the history of our program and the Horizon League a year ago, he continued to dedicate himself to improve every single day. He was having another great year as one of the top scorers in the NCAA and a fantastic leader in our program."

The 6-foot-7 Dixson burst on the scene as a freshman last season as he led the Flames in scoring. Dixson was ever better and more efficient to start his sophomore season as he was averaging 20.3 points and 6.8 rebounds per game.

The Flames stand 5-5 on the season in McClain's second season. Dixson will attempt to petition the NCAA for a hardship waiver that would give him back his lost season of eligibility.

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.