Mandatory Credit: Bradley Leeb-USA TODAY Sports

Illinois Fighting Illini Basketball: Things to Watch Against the Iowa Hawkeyes


Can Illinois right the ship?: Illini fans are frustrated and rightly so. The Fighting Illini have not won a game since January 4th and their season is quickly getting flushed down the toilet. A win over #15 Iowa would do wonders for Illinois. However, no game is a “for sure” win (especially in the Big Ten…just look at the Northwestern game). Fact is: Illinois NEEDS a win over Iowa on Saturday in order to right the ship and save the season. If they don’t, the NCAA Tournament might be a pipe dream.

Will a freshman finally break into the starting lineup?: The masses have been talking game after game asking the question about whether or not one of the freshman will break into the starting lineup? Could this finally be the game? Probably not, but a loss on Saturday might make Groce lean closer to starting a freshman. The saying goes, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Well, if the Illini lose their seven straight game on Saturday, it will be pretty clear that things are broke and they need to be fixed.

Illinois’ NCAA Tournament Resume: As of Thursday, Illinois is no where to be seen on Bracketologist Joe Lanardi’s bracket. Not in the field. Not in the “Last Four In.” Not even in the “Last Four Out.” Earlier, I stated that Illinois NEEDED to win this game and this is why. Coach Groce was able to bring the Illini to the Big Dance in his first season as head coach and the chances of it being two straight bids looks dim, but a win on Saturday would go a LONG way in helping the Illini get back into the tourney talk.

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Tags: Basketball Illinois Fighting Illini