Payne and Frazier help No. 25 Illinois hold off Nebraska 81-71

LINCOLN, Neb. — Fighting Illini men’s basketball coach Brad Underwood said last night’s game at Nebraska was one he’d been concerned about since the Big Ten conference schedule was published. Illinois prevailed 81-71 Tuesday night in Lincoln, but it took some late heroics by their reserve center “Maybe the coming out party for Omar Payne,” […]

Double-double machine Cockburn sends Illini past Maryland

CHAMPAIGN — The Illinois men’s basketball team improved to 4-0 in the Big Ten with a 76-64 win over Maryland Thursday night in Champaign. It wasn’t easy. After his team squandered a 14 point first half lead, head coach Brad Underwood entered the team’s locker room at halftime. “It was very professional, very businesslike. And […]

Illinois men dominate Minnesota 76-53

MINNNEAPOLIS — The Illinois men’s basketball team blew the doors off ‘The Barn’ in Minneapolis Tuesday night, coasting to a 76-53 win over the Minnesota Golden Gophers at Williams Arena. Illinois head coach Brad Underwood says he was relieved to find his team competitive after returning from a pause due to positive COVID tests on […]

Illinois men reclaim ‘Braggin’ Rights’ over Missouri 88-63

ST. LOUIS — The Fighting Illini men’s basketball team demolished Missouri in the 41st annual Braggin’ Rights game Wednesday night in Saint Louis. The final score was 88-63. Kofi Cockburn tallied 25 points and grabbed 14 rebounds for the victors. He said he’ll enjoy his holiday travels a lot more after winning the border war […]

Grandison and Plummer shoot Illinois to an 87-83 win at Iowa

IOWA CITY, Iowa — The Fighting Illini men’s basketball team beat Iowa 87-83 last night in Iowa City. Jacob Grandison and Alfonso Plummer hit 4 three-pointers each, and scored 21 points apiece to lead Illinois. The two sealed the game against an Iowa comeback, with Plummer draining a three-pointer with 80 seconds remaining. Grandison was […]

Bostic helps Illini women grab a win over Eastern Kentucky; Illini men travel to Iowa

CHAMPAIGN — Sophomore forward Kendall Bostic grabbed 22 rebounds and scored 12 points as the Illini women’s basketball team cruised to a 71-57 win over Eastern Kentucky Sunday afternoon. Bostic spoke matter-of-factly about her rebounding effort, which was the program’s best individual rebounding performance in 40 years. “This was a team (EKU) that we really […]

Shorthanded Illini get past Notre Dame 82-72

CHAMPAIGN — The Fighting Illini men’s basketball team overcame illness and injuries to beat Notre Dame 82-72 Monday night in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge at State Farm Center in Champaign. Illinois head coach Brad Underwood detailed some of his team’s ailments after the game. “I had not seen Jacob Grandison since we got home from […]

Illinois bounces back with a win over Kansas State

KANSAS CITY — One night after a blowout loss to Cincinnati, the Fighting Illini men’s basketball team figured things out on offense well enough to beat former head coach Bruce Weber’s Kansas State team 72-64 at the Hall of Fame Classic. Illinois guard Alfonso Plummer connected on 7-9 three-pointers for 21 points. That long-range threat […]

Illini men get blown out by Cincinnati 71-51

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — For the first eight minutes of the game, it looked like it would be a blowout Illini win. It ended up being a blowout loss to Cincinnati in the Hall of Fame Classic. Kofi Cockburn returned to action following a three-game suspension and launched his team to a 15-point lead, scoring […]

Turnovers doom Illini in a 67-66 loss at Marquette

MILWAUKEE — The Illini men’s basketball team faltered during crunch time Monday night in Milwaukee. Marquette’s defense denied Illinois a field goal for the final seven minutes of play, overcoming a 12 point deficit to nip the 10th-ranked Illini 67-66. Illinois head coach Brad Underwood was aghast at his team’s failure to close out the […]

Illini men and women win season openers

CHAMPAIGN — The Illini men’s basketball team opened the season with a 71-47 win over Jackson State Tuesday night in Champaign. Illinois was without starters Trent Frazier, Andre Curbelo and Kofi Cockburn. The latter is serving a three-game, NCAA-imposed suspension because he sold some personal Illini gear before deciding to return to the team for […]

Illini ‘Never Stopped Dreaming’ In Quest For March Glory

INDIANAPOLIS — It took Brad Underwood 26 years to become an NCAA Division I head basketball coach. But he said he never doubted the time would come. On Sunday, after Illinois men’s basketball earned the Big Ten tournament title with a 91-88 win in overtime against Ohio State, Underwood reflected on his journey. “I had […]

Illini Celebrate Big Ten Tournament Title, No. 1 NCAA Seed

INDIANAPOLIS — Giorgi Bezhanishvili and Kofi Cockburn were at a loss for words as they observed the spectacle of a Big Ten Tournament Championship Sunday in Indianapolis. “I was trying to collect the whole moment within me,” said Bezhanishvili. “All these people who I’ve been with every single day, working, and see them, so so […]

Cockburn Outduels Garza In Matchup Of Top Big Men

INDIANAPOLIS — The first time Illinois center Kofi Cockburn and Iowa center Luka Garza faced off, back in 2020, Garza owned the day. The Hawkeyes’ 6-foot-10 playmaker made Cockburn look inexperienced and uncomfortable, limiting him to just six points in a 72-65 Hawkeyes win in January of 2020. On that day, Garza exploded for 25 […]

Illini Top Iowa To Move To Big Ten Title Game 82-71

INDIANAPOLIS — The Fighting Illini men’s basketball team will face Ohio State for the Big Ten Tournament crown Sunday afternoon in Indianapolis. Illinois downed the Iowa Hawkeyes 82-71 in what might be the final meeting against Iowa’s National Player of the Year, Luka Garza. Kofi Cockburn prevailed in the battle of the big men, and […]