Illinois vs. Michigan
TV: Big Ten Network
Last time the Illini played, the team forgot the first 10 minutes count and left Indiana with a big black eye. It's hard to account for what exactly happened, because coach John Groce claimed his team had good practices during the week off before the game and the Hoosiers are just as bad defensively as Illinois (as seen during the second half, when the Illini almost maybe made a comeback).
So, it's pretty hard to say what Illinois might do this evening against Michigan. Michigan is 1-2 in the Big Ten (as are the Illini), with an overtime loss at Iowa, a close win over Penn State, and a loss to Maryland -- all kind-of as expected. The Wolverines have a balanced starting five, with Zak Irvin standing out as the star. But, if I'm Illinois, I'm most worried about DJ Wilson and Moritz Wagner. The duo, 6'10" and 6'11", respectively, are cleaning up the glass (6.9 and 4.7 rebounds/game) and getting buckets (10.1 and 13.7 points/game). Given the way good frontcourts have exposed the weaknesses in Illinois's game, Wilson and Wagner could be crucial for the Wolverines.
One thing fans might look for is how Groce divides playing time this evening. After the Indiana debacle, Groce heaped praise on Te'Jon Lucas and Kipper Nichols and said they would play. So, look out for that. Maybe look for a new starting lineup for the first time since December 3, too.
My prediction: Keep the roller coaster going, Illinois plays solidly and gets a necessary win over the Wolverines.