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Coppin State Vs. Illinois Preview: Fighting Illini Looking To Stay Unbeaten

The Illinois Fighting Illini hope to stay unbeaten as they face Coppin State on Sunday.

The Illinois Fighting Illini are currently 9-0 on the season, with those victories pushing them up to No. 24 in the national polls. On Sunday night, they're hosting the Coppin State Eagles at home, a game that likely won't be too challenging considering that Coppin State hasn't won a road game all season long.

Illinois, off to its best start since beginning the 2005-2006 season at 15-0, has actually struggled against some pretty lackluster opponents thus far. The Fighting Illini were impressive in an 82-75 victory over then-No. 18 Gonzaga, but they needed a late rally to beat a weak St. Bonaventure team in a game during which they shot just 32 percent from the field. That pitiful shooting performance was actually the school's worst in a non-conference game since 1996.

But regardless of those struggles, Illinois is still 9-0 on the year, and they should be able to get to 10-0 by beating a struggling Coppin State team on Sunday night. The Eagles are just 3-4 on the year, but all four losses came during a brutal road trip featuring games against Oklahoma, Purdue and then-No. 4 Connecticut. For Illinois, this is a final easy game before a rough stretch that includes games against UNLV, currently 9-2 on the year with a victory over then-No. 1 North Carolina, and No. 10 Missouri. 

For more coverage of the Fighting Illini, be sure to explore Hail to the Orange. 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.