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Illinois vs Penn State prediction, college basketball game preview, how to watch: Thursday, March 3
Date: Thursday, March 3
Game Time: 7:00 ET
Venue: State Farm Center, Champaign, IL
How To Watch: FS1
Record: Illinois (20-8), Penn State (12-14)
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It’s all about the Nittany Lion defense.
The offense isn’t going to do much of anything, but the defense went bye-bye n a blowout loss to Nebraska in a 93-70 loss. Before that, the defense was good tight games, and now it has to grind this down against the Illini.
Illinois has been off. It’s partly because it’s been on the road for three of the last four games, and it’s partly because the defense has been awful, allowing teams to hit close to 50% from the field over the last seven games.
Penn State doesn’t have to go crazy, but if it can just get to 45%, it’s in this.
However …
– Latest Polls AP | Coaches
There’s still a shot at taking a piece of the Big Ten regular season title.
Wisconsin has locked up at least part of it, and can have it outright with a win over Nebraska, but a Badger loss and Illinois wins over Penn State and Iowa would be enough to get a t-shirt.
That doesn’t really matter – no one ever remembers who wins a regular season college basketball title – but it’s enough of a motivation to come up with a strong performance at home.
Amazing from three over the last few games – hitting 22-of-42 in the last two outings with the offense rocking and rolling – just getting to 70 points probably ends this because …
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Penn State hasn’t scored more than 70 points since the end of January and only three times since Thanksgiving.
The defense is playing well enough to keep this from getting out of hand, but the Nittany Lions aren’t going for force turnovers.
Illinois will go on an early second half run to end any drama.
Illinois 73, Penn State 62
Line: Illinois -12.5, o/u: 134
ATS Confidence out of 5: 3
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