CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — No. 13 Illinois basketball opens Big Ten Conference play hosting unbeaten Minnesota at the top of the hour. It will be the fourth high major opponent for the Illini (4-2) already this season. Compare that to the Gophers (6-0) who are unbeaten, but have only faced one team from a major conference.
“Firstly I want to thank Coach Underwood for giving us a schedule like that, a lot of teams aren’t playing the teams that we played, like two top-10 teams in the country,” Illinois sophomore center Kofi Cockburn said. “It’s just about preparing us for what’s going to be the real deal. Big Ten play is really tough, every nights going to be tough, so I think coach Underwood did a really good job with getting us the right games to prepare for that, physical games.”
Illinois is coming off a loss at No. 16 Missouri in the annual Braggin’ Rights game. That followed a win earlier in the week at No. 10 Duke in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. The other high major game was a loss to No. 2 Baylor in the Jimmy V Classic.
Illinois and Minnesota airs on ESPN2 at 6 p.m. Watch the Illini post game press conference LIVE on the WCIA 3 digital channels after the game here: