The 5th-ranked Illinois Fighting Illini once again climbed up the college basketball rankings and are building momentum as March Madness approaches. They will be on the road for a Big Ten battle against the Minnesota Golden Gophers on Saturday.
The Fighting Illini have won six straight games and are fighting their way back to the top of the Big Ten standings.
Fixture: Illinois Fighting Illini vs. Minnesota Golden Gophers - NCAA Men's Basketball
Date & Time: Saturday, February 20th, 2021, TBD
Venue: Williams Arena, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Illinois Fighting Illini Preview
With wins in six straight games, the Illinois Fighting Illini have shown no signs of slowing down in their hunt for a Big Ten title. They carry a 15-5 record into Saturday's matchup, holding second spot in the conference standings.
As they head to Minnesota to face another Big Ten opponent, the Fighting Illini seem to have dialed in their offensive gameplan.
The Golden Gophers defenders will have their hands full with the brilliant mix of size and speed possessed by the Illinois Fighting Illini.
Key Player - Ayo Dosunmu
Illinois star guard Ayo Dosunmu is having a season to remember, putting his name in the running for college basketball's best player.
The talented junior is averaging a team-high 21.3 points and 5.3 assists per game this season, leading the way for the Fighting Illini offense.
Dosunmu has earned the nickname "The Closer" for his clutch shooting in pressure-filled moments.
The Illinois Fighting Illini will be hopeful of another big night from "The Closer" on their way to a 7th straight victory.
Illinois Fighting Illini Predicted Lineup
F Jacob Grandison, C Kofi Cockburn, G Trent Frazier, G Ayo Dosunmu, G Adam Miller
Minnesota Golden Gophers Preview
The Minnesota Golden Gophers have fallen all the way to 10th place in the Big Ten, with losses in five of their last seven games. They were ranked as high as 16th in the NCAA earlier in the season but have struggled since opening their Big Ten schedule.
The Golden Gophers have lost two straight games, allowing an average of 77 points over that span. When the Fighting Illini come to town, they will need to find an answer for Ayo Dosunmu if they want to come away with an upset victory.
Key Player - Marcus Carr
Junior guard Marcus Carr is the leading scorer and offensive captain of the Minnesota Golden Gophers.
The talented Carr is averaging 19.4 points and 5.1 assists per game, carrying the workload for Minnesota's offense.
Despite his team's troubles, Marcus Carr has consistently found a way to the basket. The star junior will be matched up with Ayo Dosunmu, making him a key player on Saturday.
Minnesota Golden Gophers Predicted Lineup
G Gabe Kalscheur, F Brandon Johnson, G Marcus Carr, C Liam Robbins, G Tre Williams
Illinois vs Minnesota Prediction
Considering the Illinois Fighting Illini's hot streak, the Minnesota Golden Gophers are going to need their best basketball to stay competitive in this game.
The Fighting Illini have some of the best scorers in the NCAA and seem to be improving with every game.
With a fast-paced offense and great size on defense, the advantage goes to the Illinois Fighting Illini to earn their 12th Big Ten victory.
Where to watch Illinois vs Minnesota
The game is awaiting broadcast information due to the inclement weather in the US.