The Illinois Fighting Illini face off against the Iowa Hawkeyes on Thursday morning to kick off the Big Ten Conference Tournament in Indianapolis. Illinois is hoping to sneak into the NCAA Tournament with a series of upsets in the conference tournament after stumbling to end the regular season.
After starting with a strong 15-3 record through 18 games, Illinois fell apart by losing 11 of its remaining 13 games. With a 6-12 record against Big Ten foes, the Illini are the No. 9 seed in the conference despite being at the top of the conference standings at some point.
Iowa, the No. 8 seed in the tournament, finished the year with a 16-15 overall record. They pulled off numerous upsets, though beating Michigan, Indiana and Wisconsin twice over the course of the season. Since the end of January, the Hawkeyes are the only team to lose to the Fighting Illini.
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