St. Bonaventure Vs. Illinois: Fighting Illini Hope To Stay Unbeaten

CHAMPAIGN, IL - DECEMBER 03: Meyers Leonard #12 of the Illinois Fighting Illini blocks a shot by Robert Sacre #00 of the Gonzaga Bulldogs at Assembly Hall on December 3, 2011 in Champaign, Illinois. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Illinois faces the St. Bonaventure Bonnies at home as they hope to win their ninth consecutive game to start the season.

The Illinois Fighting Illini are only No. 22 in the nation despite being unbeaten, but they should be able to get the nation's attention if they can just keep winning. On Wednesday night, they're facing the St. Bonaventure Bonnies at home as they hope to win their ninth consecutive game to start the season.

It's been a strong start to the season for Illinois, which beat then-No. 18 Gonzaga on Dec. 3 for its first victory of the season against the ranked opponent. While the Illini hope that's just one of many, a win against a ranked team would have to be considered a very huge deal for St. Bonaventure. The Bonnies have lost 20 consecutive games against ranked opponents since beating then-No. 23 Temple on Jan. 15, 2000. 

The Illini will once again be led by the core of Meyers Leonard, D.J. Richardson, Sam Maniscalco and Brandon Paul. Leonard, a sophomore center, has been turning heads lately. He's averaged 13.4 points, 6.6 rebounds and 2.9 blocks per game for Illinois while shooting just over 61 percent from the field.

For more on the game, check out Hail to the Orange, SB Nation's Illinois Fighting Illini. Stay tuned to SB Nation Chicago for live, in-game scores and updates. For more from around college hoops, visit SB Nation's NCAA basketball news hub.

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