NEW YORK, Ny. (WCIA) — The Illini men’s basketball game against No. 2 Texas is shaping up as an early season challenge. As grand as the setting may be, it’s not new for the Illini.

This is the third time Illinois has played in the Jimmy V Classic, but only the second time in New York. The Illini lost to Baylor in Indianapolis in this event during the 2020 COVID season.

Now back in the most famous arena in sports, Brad Underwood and the Illini will try to avoid making it back to back losses after a tough one on the road to Maryland. There’s some interesting history here, Illini star Terrence Shannon Jr. committed and played for Texas coach Chris Beard at Texas Tech, but Shannon says that’s water under the bridge as Illinois looks for a marquee non-conference win.

“Nah it’s not really a thing to me anymore,” Shannon Jr. said. “Me and Coach Beard, we’ve got a good relationship. It’s just another game to me.”

“The obvious is we get a chance to get better and we get a chance to beat a team that in all likelihood could win the Big 12 and is a frontrunner to a Final Four contender, and an opportunity to help get us better for Big Ten play and help us understand what we got to face every single night in that league,” Illinois head coach Brad Underwood said.

Texas owns the all-time series mark over Illinois 3-2. Longhorns won last time they played in 2010. Tip off is at 6:00 p.m. CT.