Are the Illinois Contenders for the Championship Title? An In-Depth Look Into the Best Teams of Big 10

Published 12/08/2023, 2:27 PM EST

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The NCAA season has commenced in full glory and so has the tough competition between the teams. The Big 10 looks to be one league that has a lot of outstanding teams and the Illinois Fighting Illini are one of the them. 

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They have a 7-1 tally so far and fans are pining their hopes on them, but do their previous performances reflect a champion team or is it just empty noise? A detailed look might give a better answer.

Who are the top teams in Big 10?

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Going by the current form, the Purdue Boilermakers, the Illinois Fighting Illini and the Wisconsin Badgers are currently considered as the top three teams in the Big 10. As per critics, the Ohio State Buckeyes are considered the next in line from these teams. 

The Illinois is gelling and have a good teamwork. The Wisconsin look to be a better team on paper but the Fighting Illini proved their mettle when they decimated the Rutgers Scarlet Knights by a comprehensive margin of 76-58. 

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They notched that up with a win against the Florida Atlantic Owls whom they trumped them with a 98-89 margin. One of the places where the Wisconsin edges past the Illinoi is that they beat the Marquette Golden Eagles whereas the Illinois lost to the Golden Eagles. 

Though the Illinois have done superb in their campaign yet the Wisconsin might march ahead of them when compared head to head. A lot about these teams will come to light when the Illinois will play against the Tennessee and the Wisconsin will lock horns with the Arizona.

Nonetheless, the Illini can not be ruled out of the competition.

How are the Illinois performing?

The Illinois forward Marcus Domask performed exceptionally well as he potted 33 points against the FAU with 6 rebounds and 3 assists. He had a cent percent free throw percentage and a 71.4% field goal percentage.

The Illinois are a great team defensively and have two amazing guards, the other one being Terrence Shannnon Jr. Shannon averages a whopping 23 points per game with 10 rebounds per contest. He has this achieved a double-double in averages and the season has only begun. 

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Thus, the Illinois have two guys around whom they can build their game. While the FAU had their guards in Alijah Martin and Johnell Davis who stand at 6 feet 2 inches and 6 feet 4 inches respectively, Shannon Jr. and Domask are 6-feet-6 inches each which gave them a competitive advantage over the FAU.

Though the Illinois have lesser supporting players, they have these two stupendous performers who can get the better of their rivals on their own, and hence the Fighting Illini are hard to ignore.

They have considerably improved their shooting percentage from last year and now are a force to reckon with. While Domask has potted a respectable 46.2% field goals, Shannon has besotted 61.5%. Shannon’s three-pointer percentage is also spectacular as it stands at 57.1%.

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As the season progresses, these two can be expected to shine for the Illinois and ultimately help them leave a mark on the NCAA season. If things go as expected who knows Illinois might get the ticket to the Championship and also be a contender for the woodenware. 

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Written by:

Ritvan Pande

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