3. Who wins the strength vs. strength matchup?
Illinois and Florida Atlantic are two good teams that will both be dancing come March. I think these two teams have a legitimate shot at getting to the Sweet 16 and beyond this season.
On Tuesday night, we are going to get to watch these two talented teams face off when a talented Illinois defense takes on one of the best offenses in the country.
That leads me to this big question; who wins the strength vs. strength matchup? Illinois’ great defense against an electric Owls offense.
Illinois, while we haven’t played great competition, has shut down opponents this season. We are only giving up 58.6 points per game, which ranks No. 5 in the country. The most points we have surrendered were against Marquette, and they only scored 71 points in the contest.
The suffocating Illini defense has been fun to watch this season. We aren’t the prettiest team to watch, but we are fundamentally sound on defense. There is great communication, and Illinois isn’t lazy closing out. When teams start going on a run, the Illini are able to shut them down quickly with our length and quick hands.
Florida Atlantic, on the other hand, is sensational offensively. They are averaging 83.9 points per game this season, which ranks No. 22 in the country.
The Owls are a well-balanced team that can attack you from multiple areas on the court. They have big man Vladislav Goldin, who can tear up the paint. They also have great guard play that will spread the floor. Florida Atlantic can legitimately go eight deep in its rotations.
It is going to be fun to watch these two teams on Tuesday night. Illinois has a great defense and Florida Atlantic is a high-scoring program. Let’s see who wins out.