CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — Illinois basketball has another chance at a marquee win and they’re favored to do it. The Illini (6-3) host No. 5 Michigan Wednesday night at 8 p.m. and are predicted to beat the Wolverines by a point. A win would be the signature victory for head coach Brad Underwood in his third season in Champaign.
“This team, we’re moving along,” Illinois junior point guard Trent Frazier said. “I thought we did unbelievable that game (at Maryland). We’re really happy with where we’re at, we’re not going to let that loss affect us. The physicality of what we had the other night at Maryland, that’s what we need to come out with.”
Illinois had a chance to upset No. 3 Maryland on Saturday, holding a 15-point lead early in the second half. But the Terps made a run late, holding the Illini scoreless the final 5:05 of the game. Andres Feliz had the ball with it tied at 58 but turned it over, then fouled Anthony Cowan Jr., who made one of two free throws to seal the win for Maryland.
“It will really push us over the edge, we’re a really good team,” Illinois freshman center Kofi Cockburn said. “We have really good players and if we come together like we did in that Maryland game, we can be a really great team.”
“It’s the first time since I’ve been here where I felt like I was coaching one of my teams. Everything that we did in the Maryland game can be carried over. The scouting report in different, but the attention to detail, the toughness, we played like a physically tough team.”