Big Ten Power Rankings: Illinois #3

3. Illinois. The biggest question in college basketball the past week -- well, besides who gets to keep the kids in the Big East divorce, I guess -- is this: Is Illinois really real? Like, Kendrick Lamar-epiphanic, I'm "really really really real" real? I think so! They are probably not going to make 3s at this clip forever; the frequency and accuracy of Illinois' 3-point shooting is the most easily identifiable key to its success thus far, and that kind of reliance can wax and wane. But Brandon Paul, once an inefficient chucker, has totally bought in to John Groce. When he said so at Big Ten media day, even his enthusiastic tone couldn't sell me. I'd seen enough. But here he is, playing efficient basketball and carving defenses up on pick-and-roll sets and D.J. Richardson is playing well, and Tyler Griffey is shooting 43.6 percent from 3, and the whole thing really is clicking.

I don't think Illinois can sustain this all season. I don't think it's better than Ohio State now, and I think Ohio State will clearly be the better team by the end of the year. But I'm sorry, when you start 11-0, and you beat Gonzaga on the road, you're going to get serious power rankings love. Deservedly so.

espn.com





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2017 Illini Football Schedule

DateOpponentTime/TV
Sat, Sept 2Ball State11:00am BTN
Sat, Sept 9Western Kentucky7:00pm BTN
Fri, Sept 15@USF6:00pm ESPN
Fri, Sept 29Nebraska7:00pm FS1
Sat, Oct 7@Iowa11:00am
Sat, Oct 14Rutgers 
Sat, Oct 21@Minnesota2:30pm or
3:00pm
Sat, Oct 28Wisconsin
(Homecoming)
11:00am
Sat, Nov 4@Purdue 
Sat, Nov 11Indiana 
Sat, Nov 18@Ohio State 
Sat, Nov 25Northwestern 
All times CT

2017-2018 Illini Basketball Schedule

DateOpponentTime/TV
Fri, Nov 10Southern 
Sun, Nov 12Tennessee-Martin 
Fri, Nov 17DePaul 
Sun, Nov 19Marshall 
Wed, Nov 22Augustana 
Fri, Nov 24North Carolina Central 
Tue, Nov 28@Wake Forest 
Fri, Dec 1@Northwestern 
Sun, Dec 3Maryland 
Wed, Dec 6Austin Peay 
Sat, Dec 9@UNLV
(Las Vegas, NV)
 
Wed, Dec 13Longwood  
Sat, Dec 16New Mexico State
(Chicago, IL)
 
Sat, Dec 23Missouri
(St. Louis, MO)
 
Sat, Dec 30Grand Canyon 
Wed, Jan 3@Minnesota 
Sat, Jan 6@Michigan 
Thu, Jan 11Iowa 
Mon, Jan 15@Nebraska 
Fri, Jan 19@Wisconsin 
Mon, Jan 22Michigan State 
Wed, Jan 24Indiana 
Tue, Jan 30Rutgers 
Sun, Feb 4@Ohio State 
Thu, Feb 8Wisconsin 
Sun, Feb 11Penn State 
Wed, Feb 14@Indiana 
Sun, Feb 18Nebraska 
Tue, Feb 20@Michigan State 
Thu, Feb 22Purdue 
Sun, Feb 25@Rutgers 
Game times will be listed when announced