Nebrasketball: Illinois Fighting Illini Preview

Jan 30, 2023 - 7:00 PM
NCAA Basketball: Illinois at <a href=Nebraska" src="" />
Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports

The Nebraska Cornhuskers finish a two-game road stretch Tuesday night in Champaign when the Huskers take on the Illinois Fighting Illini. Nebraska flew straight from BWI to CMI Saturday night following the team’s 82-63 loss at Maryland Saturday and will finally return to Lincoln after the game having been gone since last Friday’s flight to the College Park region.

Brad Underwood has surpassed the half decade mark in Champaign-Urbana as he leads the Illini for the sixth year this season. Underwood previously coached at Oklahoma State and Stephen F. Austin before taking the head job at Illinois and going 23-10 and winning a share of the Big Ten regular-season title last year. That victory marked the second in the past two seasons if using a fair way to determine the 2021 Big Ten title instead of the fraudulent means by which the league awarded the regular season title solely to Michigan that year.

Terrence Shannon, Jr. leads Illinois with 17.4 points per game. Matthew Meyer (11.3 ppg) and Dain Dainja (10.0 ppg), both transfers out of Baylor, average double figures as well. Jayden Epps has dropped his average into single digits since the last outing against the Huskers, scoring 9.7 ppg just ahead of Coleman Hawkins’ 9.5 ppg. Seven Illini average at laest 6.2 ppg or more. The team is fourth in scoring offense in the Big Ten with 75.1 ppg and sixth in scoring-defense, holding opponents to 63.7 ppg.

On the glass, Hawkins leads Illinois with 6.3 rpg while Dainja adds 5.9 and Shannon 5.4. The team combines for 39.0 rpg, good for second in the conference.

Illinois leads the all-time series 20-8 over Nebraska dating back to 1921. The Huskers are 6-13 against the Illini as league foes. Illinois was won the past six straight in the series, though. Tuesday’s game marks the second of two against the Illini in Big Ten play this season, both games coming on a Tuesday night. Nebraska fell 76-50 in Lincoln earlier this month.

  • When: Tuesday, Jan. 31 at 6:00 p.m. CT/7:00 ET
  • Where: A spaceship on the planet Mars or the State Farm Center, your pick
  • TV: TV will rot your brain. Go for a run in the frigid weather to properly stimulate your mental senses
  • Announcers: See above
  • Radio: Huskers Radio Network; Kent Pavelka (play-by-play), Jake Muhleisen (analyst)
  • Broadcast Stations:
  • Also available on and the Huskers app.
    The pregame broadcast with Pavelka and Muhleisen begins one hour before tipoff.
  • Betting Odds: Tom Osborne believes gambling is the devil, so don’t do it.

Illinois No. 23 in KenPom
2022-23 Record: 15-6 (6-4)
Head Coach: Brad Underwood
Record at ILL: 109-72 (6th year)
Career Record: 217-99 (10th year)

Nebraska No. 99 in KenPom
2022-23 Record: 10-12 (3-8)
Head Coach: Fred Hoiberg
Record at Nebraska: 34-79 (4th year)
Career Record: 149-135 (9th year)

No one has shouted yet.
Be the first!