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Illinois Fighting Illini @ UConn Huskies

Current Records: Illinois 29-8, UConn 34-3

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A Elite Eight matchup is on tap on Saturday as the UConn Huskies and the Illinois Fighting Illini will duke it out at 6:09 p.m. ET at TD Garden. Both teams are coming into the contest red-hot, with the Huskies sitting on ten straight victories and the Fighting Illini on seven.

UConn put the finishing touches on their 17th blowout victory of the season on Thursday. They steamrolled past San Diego State 82-52 on the road.

UConn's success was the result of a balanced attack that saw several players step up, but Cam Spencer led the charge by scoring 18 points along with five rebounds and three steals. Another player making a difference was Tristen Newton, who scored 17 points along with seven rebounds.

Illinois proved they can win big on Saturday (they won by 26) but on Thursday they proved they can win the close ones too. They had just enough and edged Iowa State out 72-69.

Terrence Shannon Jr. was the offensive standout of the matchup as he scored 29 points along with five rebounds and three steals. The game was his seventh in a row with at least 22.4 points. Coleman Hawkins was another key contributor, scoring 12 points along with six rebounds and two steals.

UConn is on a roll lately: they've won 24 of their last 25 matches, which provided a nice bump to their 34-3 record this season. As for Illinois, their win bumped their record up to 29-8.

This contest is one where the number of possessions is likely to be a big factor: UConn has been smashing the glass this season, having averaged 38.6 rebounds per game. However, it's not like Illinois struggles in that department as they've been averaging 41.4. Given these competing strengths, it'll be interesting to see how their clash plays out.

UConn is hoping to beat the odds on Saturday, as the experts think they're headed for a loss. They might be worth a quick bet since they've covered the spread the last four times they've played.


UConn is a big 8.5-point favorite against Illinois, according to the latest college basketball odds.

The oddsmakers were right in line with the betting community on this one, as the game opened as a 8.5-point spread, and stayed right there.

The over/under is 155 points.

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