NCAA Basketball: Iowa Hawkeyes vs Illinois Fighting Illini- Possible Lineups and Predictions

Published 01/29/2021, 2:00 PM EST
Jan 7, 2021; Evanston, Illinois, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini guard Ayo Dosunmu (11) reacts after his three point basket in the second half against the Northwestern Wildcats at Welsh-Ryan Arena. Mandatory Credit: Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports


NCAA Basketball will see a massive clash emanating from the Big 10 Conference when the #7 ranked Iowa Hawkeyes take on the #16 Illinois Fighting Illini. The Illini and Hawkeyes both have had rough games recently and will look to rebound big in this clash.

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The Hawkeyes are coming off a shock loss to the Indiana Hoosiers. They have a 12-3 record on the season and are still being projected for some major NCAA tournament success. They are led by favorite to become College Player of the Year, Luka Garza.

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The Illinois Fighting Illini are coming off a win over Penn State but had lost a major game to the Ohio State Buckeyes prior to that. Their record is 10-5, with a loss here possibly damning them to the bottom tier of the AP Top 25.

So, which one of these teams will leave this game with the win?

NCAA Basketball: Do the Hawkeyes add another win for their season?

The Hawkeyes have the best offense in the country, and that success has been built off Luka Garza’s back. The big-man is shooting almost 70% from the field and has the entire Hawkeyes team around him coalescing to add more production for this elite team. With Garza, they can win any game on any given day.

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Jan 10, 2021; Iowa City, Iowa, USA; Iowa Hawkeyes center Luka Garza (55) reacts with guard Jordan Bohannon (3) against the Minnesota Golden Gophers during the first half at Carver-Hawkeye Arena. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

However, the Illini pride themselves on their defensive ability. With star player Kofi Cockburn taking on the Garza challenge, the sparks will be flying from the start. However, Illinois make their money scoring on opponents as well, so we should be locked into an offensive battle, regardless.

The Hawkeyes will be starting the game with Connor McCaffrey, CJ Frederick, Jordan Bohanon, Joe Wisekamp, and Luka Garza. Meanwhile, the Illini will be taking the floor with Ayo Dosunmu, Adam Miller, Trent Frazier, Jacob Grandison, and Kofi Cockburn.

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For our pick, we will be siding with the Hawkeyes. While they did fall to the Hoosiers, they are very stacked and won’t allow losses like that again. The Illini are capable of giving them a beating, but it doesn’t look like Iowa will let that happen.

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Ishaan Bhattacharya

1510 articles

Ishaan Bhattacharya is an NBA, NCAA Basketball, and Combat Sports writer at EssentiallySports. Currently, Ishaan is pursuing a Post Graduate Degree in Journalism from Xavier's Institute of Communication. Previously, Ishaan has written for The Indian Express, The Quint, Sportskeeda, and WrestleClub.

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